Study Finds Rampant Inequality in New Orleans Hotel Industry Wages


Source: Wikimedia

According to new figures released by The Data Center on Friday, people of color are disproportionately hired for positions that pay less than $15/hr, while white people are disproportionately hired for positions that pay more than $15/hr.

The hotel industry represents nearly six percent of all jobs in New Orleans, with 57 percent of that workforce being black, 29 percent white, 9 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent Asian. While the median income (including tips) for workers in the hotel industry is reportedly around $41,623 per year, the majority of the industry’s jobs are skewed towards lower-wage jobs.

Those jobs tend to be disproportionately filled by people of color. For example, 68 percent of hotel housekeepers earning $10.60 per hour are black, and 13 percent are Hispanic.

Women are also concentrated in the lower earning occupations. While female hotel workers make up around 56 percent of the hotel industry workers as a whole, they represent nearly 62 percent of workers earning less than $15 per hour. Men make up 62 percent of those earning more than $15 per hour, in spite of representing a minority of total industry workers.

And the inequality doesn’t stop with the hotel industry. The study found similar numbers from the full-service restaurant industry. The Data Center found that the highest paid occupations in the full-service restaurant industry are disproportionately filled by white workers.


Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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