The Geography of Low-Paid Service Class Jobs

Authors: Karen King*, University of Toronto, Richard Florida, University of Toronto, Charlotta Mellander, Jönköping International Business School
Topics: Economic Geography, United States
Keywords: service, employment, low-wage, US, metro
Session Type: Paper


This paper takes deep dive into America’s Service Class. The Service Class includes 65 million workers who toil in precarious, low-skill, low-pay jobs in fields like Food Preparation and Service, Retail Trade, Personal Care, and Clerical and Administrative positions. Our research outlines the dramatic growth of the Service Class, documents the low wages paid to Service Class workers, and charts the large share of women and minorities that make up Service Class workers.

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