Waiters Are the Third-Lowest Paid Occupation In Washington DC

Yesterday I ran across a piece at the Intercept about a campaign to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers in Washington DC. It currently stands at a mere $3.33, which is justified by the belief that waiters and waitresses are able to make up for this low minimum wage via tips. But this got me curious. Counting all those tips, how much do waiters in Washington DC make? Luckily, the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides the median wage in DC for 462 different occupations:

There you have it. Waiters make less than parking lot attendants. Less than cashiers. Less than telemarketers. They are the third-lowest paid profession in the entire city. So should they get a raise? It’s hard to see why not.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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