Researchers at the University of California Berkeley released a report today: Fast Food, Poverty Wages, The public cost of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry.
Some quick numbers:
- 52% of fast-food employees’ families are forced to rely on social safety net programs like food stamps or Medicaid.
- Fast-food is a $200 billion industry and McDonald’s, for example, pays its CEO $13.8 million a year.
- We are forced to cover healthcare and other basic needs, at a public cost which the UC Berkeley report estimates to be nearly $7 billion per year.
- 7 of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. occupations, including restaurant work, pay less than the national median wage.
- The average fast-food worker today is over 28 years old. Fewer than 1 in 5 fast-food employees is a teenager living with a parent.
Speaking about the report on behalf of ICWJ at a local press conference, Rev. Matthew Westfox reminded us of the communal, human and moral costs, as well.