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Did you know that hospitality workers form one of the largest industries in our nation with the least amount of support?

An estimated 79% of restaurant workers do not get paid sick leave and 83% do not have access to health benefits through their employer, according to a 2012 study from Oliva's Food Chain Workers Alliance and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

Coeur d’Alene’s status as a summer resort town makes working in the hospitality industry here especially challenging and unpredictable. While many residents and visitors are enjoying the lovely weather, our local hospitality workers are clocking very long hours because they must rely on their earnings during the summer months to get them through the long, slow winter. It is a seasonal boom-bust cycle that makes budgeting and meeting basic expenses during the winter months a real obstacle for restaurant and hotel workers.


Did you know that in the Coeur d’Alene area, a significant portion of those on a survival budget are workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry?

For those on a survival budget, sometimes a simple problem like a car breakdown or short-term health issue can start a cycle that leads to loss of employment and even homelessness. According to the Idaho Department of Labor May 2019 report, there were 7,560 food service employees in Coeur d’Alene. 



ALICE is a United Way acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, yet Employed. The ALICE population consists of people who earn enough income to be above the federal poverty line but do not earn enough to make a living wage. In the Coeur d’Alene area, a significant portion of the ALICE population includes workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Did you know...?

  • *38% of Kootenai County residents are either in poverty or one disaster away from poverty.

  • The yearly survival budget for a family with two adults and two children in Kootenai County is $56,112, while the average salary for someone working full time in the restaurant and hospitality industry, including management, is $23,160..

  • The ALICE population works hard, but often falls short of what they need to consistently cover the basic costs of living.

  • The ALICE population is unable to save for the future; therefore, they are vulnerable to a single emergency that can push them into crisis and even poverty.

  • The primary issues that affect the ALICE population are: child care, financial literacy, transportation, and affordable housing.

  • The ALICE population is usually under-banked and has little to no savings.

  • Transportation is vital for going to and from work. If individuals are unable to maintain their vehicle because of financial issues, it can result in being late to work or an inability to go to work entirely.

*Research Center,, 2018

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