A TikToker Was Shocked to Discover Buc-ee’s Pays Janitors the Same Wage as His Office Job — Here’s Why Demand for Blue-Collar Jobs is Skyrocketing

It’s been, if you will, a case of consternation since TikTok user Roxie Abernathy learned that a Buc-ee’s gas station apparently pays its restroom janitors the same hourly wage she makes as a case manager.

“Since then, I haven’t been the same,” she says in a video that has garnered nearly a million views.

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“Operating the car wash (pays) more money than I make as a case manager.”

In a follow-up video, Abernathy pointed his followers to a photo from a Bucc-ee job site that said 401(k) contributions would be doubled up to 6% and employees would benefit from up to three weeks of paid vacation.

“No hatred for these positions, but at the same time I am still in shock from this discovery.”

It’s not just Buc-ee’s

The Buc-ee’s job site posted by Abernathy found that the average salary for the restroom crew is $18 an hour. Meanwhile, case manager pay ranges from $13.67 to $35.49, with an average of around $22, according to Indeed.

So there’s a good chance she’s right: an experienced concierge could earn the same hourly rate as an entry-level case manager in some parts of the country.

People who commented on his videos weren’t surprised.

“My cousin is the general manager of an establishment and he makes around $143,000 a year. His 401(k) match is better than my corporate job,” one said.

Another commenter said the managers at the local Panda Express made more money than her, even though she was the “social worker supervisor.”

Some workers also intervened.

“I do maintenance and make more than most at my job,” one user said. “People consider us inferior because we clean toilets. »

These comments highlight a growing shift in the economy, where white-collar jobs are rapidly becoming less attractive than blue-collar jobs.

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White-Blue trend reversal

Tech giants collectively cut tens of thousands of jobs in the first half of 2023. Most of these layoffs were focused on white-collar positions like middle managers, accountants, software engineers and project managers .

Advances in artificial intelligence could accelerate this trend and further reduce white-collar wages. An OpenAI study found that professional roles that require more training and are more likely to be done remotely were disproportionately exposed to AI disruption. At least 80% of office workers could have at least 10% of their tasks handled by AI, according to the report.

Simply put, lawyers, researchers, and writers could be more likely to lose their jobs because of AI.

At the same time, a shortage of skilled labor in the construction and trades sectors has driven up wages in this segment of the workforce. As this trend continues, people may realize that the wage gap between white- and blue-collar workers is rapidly decreasing.

“White-collar workers could experience a recession that blue-collar workers don’t,” Giacomo Santangelo, an economics professor at Fordham University, told VOA. He believes cultural disdain for manual labor has created this shortage of blue-collar workers. “We’ve gotten into the habit of saying it’s important to go to college, instead of saying it’s important to learn a skill,” Santangelo said.

The long-term social and political impact of this change is still uncertain. But as long as a place like Buc-ee’s is paying its bathroom crews as well as some white-collar workers, it might be time to throw those old assumptions to the wayside.

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This article provides information only and should not be considered advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.