PayScale Releases Third Annual Year-End Tipping Study

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With the Economy in a Downturn, Gratuities Increasingly Make the Difference Between Financial Life and Death for Millions of Middle-Class Workers

Every little bit helps in this economy

PayScale, Inc, the world's largest database of individual employee compensation profiles, today released its third annual year-end tipping study.

The report comes at a time of grave economic news - with weakening wages and growing unemployment - and reinforces the fact that gratuities are crucial to the financial survival of millions of middle-class workers in the United States.

Six out of the top 10 professions relying most heavily on tips are in the restaurant and hospitality business, which is especially vulnerable to an economic downturn.

Waiters and waitresses, for example, receive $9.90, or 68 percent of their total hourly income, in tips; restaurant managers get $7.90, or 51 percent of their total hourly income, as a result of gratuities; and bell captains obtain $4.50, or 32 percent of their total hourly income, from tips.

"As budgets tighten, it is tempting to treat tipping as 'optional'" says Al Lee, Director of Qualitative Analysis at PayScale. "However, the past eight years have not been good to millions of average workers, and tips are critical to making many of these jobs pay a living wage."

Tips can clearly make a financial difference when it comes to paying the bills in the current economic environment. A dog groomer who receives $1.00 of his or her total hourly income in gratuities, for instance, adds about $2,000 in annual revenue - enough for a few months' worth of rent or mortgage payments.

"Every little bit helps in this economy," explains Lee. "And the 2008 Tipping Study shows how critical gratuities are for many families to have enough money to keep their homes and put food on the table."

To read the entire report on gratuities and tipping etiquette from PayScale, please go to:

About PayScale is the world's largest ongoing salary survey, with over 15 million unique user profiles. With the world's largest database of individual employee compensation profiles, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries. PayScale's patent-pending real-time profiling technology collects and indexes employee pay attributes worldwide and makes this data available through its online salary tools and salary reports. PayScale was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Seattle.


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Steven Gottlieb
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