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Local Fast Food Wages are Not Enough
There is an increase of jobs available more than ever in the fast food industry. The average age of workers in fast food franchisees is twenty to sixty-four years of age. Most of these workers are getting by on food stamps, welfare, Medicaid and other government programs. Many fast food workers are also balancing their job with taking care of a child. The wages they make are simply not enough to sustain a growing family, leaving them struggling while not being able to take for granted, simple necessities such as housing and basic food. Most people who benefit from public programs work in the fast food industry at fifty two percent, leaving non-fast food workers at twenty-five percent.
With the end of the recession there has been a decrease in the amount of middle-class jobs available, but the fast food industry has been continuously hiring. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, all the jobs made available to the working class have only been in the fast food category, with many people working part-time to get that extra dollar in for rent and food, etc. Advocates for the defense of the fast food industry claim they can’t afford to pay workers higher wages because they themselves are barely getting by on the profit they make as a whole for the corporation. American taxpayers spend almost seven billion dollars yearly to support fast food employees and their aid of public assistance programs.
McDonald’s, perhaps the most popular fast food mogul, has gathered one point five billion dollars in profits – an increase in five percent since last year, but that is almost as close to the amount of money taxpayers are shelling out for the public programs. It makes raising the wages for their employees utterly impossible. McDonald’s went on to defend themselves by stating they train their workers for an opportunity to advance their careers and that the remuneration is based on “local wage laws.” The median wage for fast food is $8.94 an hour, but most employees work only twenty-four hours a week, which barely reaches eleven thousand dollars a year, according to Christine Owens for Reuters. The bottom line is simple for fast food franchisees – if they pay their employees more money they will fail to make a reasonable profit, which in turn could bankrupt them.
Most recently McDonald’s, the highest profit-making fast food chain, has been struggling to maintain its top spot with consumers and is planning to update its menu. Instead of French fries with a value meal it plans to offer the choice of a salad. The country’s eating habits are changing rapidly with people putting more emphasis on eating healthy. If McDonald’s wants to retain its increase in profit they are going to have to change with the times. They already offer an egg white breakfast choice and chicken wraps.
Image Credit: The Huffington Post