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Economist’s Advice for Waiters and Tipped Workers: Submit Unemployment Claims Now

By Stephania Jimenez

March 27, 2020

Waiters and waitresses are among the lowest-paid workers in the United States. And times are getting harder for them during the coronavirus pandemic.

ā€œIā€™m concerned they may be hurting the most,ā€ said Villanova Economics Professor David Fiorenza.

As businesses close as a result of the outbreak, more workers have filed unemployment claims. Pennsylvanians filed 650,000 unemployment claims over an 11-day period, state labor statistics released Thursday show.

Minimum-wage earners in Pennsylvania make $7.25 an hour. However, because servers also receive tips, employers can pay them a minimum of $2.83 an hour.

But tips are often paid in cash, and often waiters and waitresses don’t report that income on tax forms.

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