Strippers are back on the job but COVID rules are hurting their pay
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When California stripper Brittney, 26, walked into San Francisco’s reopened Gold Club stripping venue again in April after a year, she was confronted with masked-up dancers and just a clutch of patrons.
"My heart just sank. This is just so, so sad," said Brittney, who asked that her last name not be disclosed to protect her 6-year-old son. An hour of that four-hour shift was spent just waiting for customers and she earned $150, less than a third of what she would have made pre-pandemic.
"A lot of times you'll see a lot of girls just sitting around," said Brittney, who started stripping around two years ago to supplement income from two other jobs. "It’s just not fun anymore."
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As some of the United States’ estimated 3,821 strip clubs start to open up again, women who work as strippers are confronting a transformed industry. Revenue in the industry is estimated to have decreased 17.4% in 2020 and is forecast to fall another 1.5% this year, according to research by IBISWorld.