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 Report

Report CoverFast Food, Poverty Wages: The Public Cost of Low-Wage Jobs in the Fast-Food Industry
October 15, 2013, by Sylvia Allegretto, Marc Doussard, Dave Graham-Squire, Ken Jacobs, Dan Thompson and Jeremy Thompson

This report estimates the public costs of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry. Due to the combination of low wages, meager benefits, and often part-time hours, many of the families of fast-food workers must rely on taxpayer funded safety net programs to make ends meet. For this analysis we focus on jobs held by core, front-line fast-food workers, defined as non-managerial workers who work at least 10 hours per week for 27 or more weeks a year. The median wage for this workforce is $8.69 an hour. Only 13 percent of the jobs provide health benefits. We found that 52 percent of the families of core front-line fast-food workers are enrolled in one or more public safety-net programs at a cost of nearly $7 billion a year.

 

 Press Coverage

Thumbs-up for $15-an-hour minimum wage in new S.F. poll
San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2014

The case for a living wage
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (blog), March 9, 2014

Report: Minimum wage hike would cut food stamp spending by $4.6 billion a year
Washington Post, March 4, 2014

For $1 per Big Mac, a truly livable salary for millions
Boston Globe, February 18, 2014

Why McDonald's Should Focus on Less Beef and Higher Wages
The Guardian, January 29, 2014

Bill O'Reilly Blesses Minimum Wage Hike
San Francisco Chronicle, January 15, 2014

Raise Minimum Wages, Say Some on the Right
San Francisco Chronicle, January 12, 2014

Audio: McDonald's Tells Full-Time Employee to Apply for Welfare Benefits
Moyers & Company, October 24, 2013

Fast-Food Giants Make Billions while their Workers use Billions in Welfare Benefits
Alternet, October 15, 2013

McDonald's on employee resources site: Not lovin' it
CNN, December 26, 2013

The Minimum Wage and McDonald's Welfare
Bloomberg, December 17, 2013

Is service work today worse than being a household servant?
Al Jazeera America, December 10, 2013

Fox Piles On Big Business' Attempt To Smear Fast Food Protesters As "Rent-A-Mobs"
Media Matters for America, December 10, 2013

Editorial: Work and Rewards
New York Times, December 6, 2013

Large number of low-wage workers rely on public assistance programs Audio
89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio, Airtalk, December 5, 2013

Want to Cut Food Stamp Spending? Raise the Minimum Wage
Huffington Post, December 3, 2013

Life on $7.25 an Hour: Older Workers Are Increasingly Entering Fast-Food Industry
New York Times, November 28, 2013

Walmart Employees Organize Food Drive... for Other Walmart Employees
Yahoo Finance, November 18, 2013

Viewpoints: When fast food corporations hold down wages, it affects all of us
Op-ed by Ken Jacobs, Sacramento Bee, November 13, 2013

Lowering the Minimum Wage? What a Terrible Idea
The Guardian, November 12, 2013

Editorial: Fast-Food Subsidy Unsavory
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 7, 2013

One NYC Family’s Struggle to Survive on a Fast Food Salary
PBS NewsHour, November 4, 2013

Bill Maher: Average fast food worker is 29, most are on public assistance
Tampa Bay Times PunditFact, November 4, 2013

Low Wages Force More Than Half Of Fast Food Workers To Rely On Government Assistance
Business Insider, November 3, 2013

The Real Cost of Fast Food
Center for Economic and Policy Research blog, October 31, 2013

Editorial: Taxpayers' $7 billion Subsidy to Fast-Food Profits Should End
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 30, 2013

Taxpayers Spending $7 Billion To Supplement Fast-Food Workers’ Wages
International Business Times, October 18, 2013

How Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations Rely on the Public to Feed their Workforce
The American Prospect, October 16, 2013

Why US Taxpayers Pay $7 Billion A Year To Help Fast-Food Workers
NPR, October 16, 2013

Fast-food workers leaning on federal aid
CBS News, October 16, 2013

Public Aid Crucial to Fast-Food Workers
The Boston Globe, October 16, 2013

Fast Food, Big Costs
San Diego Union Tribune, October 16, 2013

Low fast-food wages come at high public cost, reports say
The Washington Post, October 15, 2013

Studies Link Fast-Food Wages to Public Assistance
Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2013

McDonald's Low Wages Cost Taxpayers $1.2 Billion Per Year: Study
The Huffington Post, October 15, 2013

McDonald's Low Wages Come With a $7 Billion Side of Welfare
Bloomberg Business Week, October 15, 2013

Fast-Food Workers Are Costing the US $7 Billion a Year in Public Aid
Time – Business & Money, October 15, 2013

Majority of US fast-food workers need public assistance –study
Reuters, October 15, 2013

Majority of US fast food workers need public assistance
Al Jazeera America, October 15, 2013

Low fast-food wages come at high cost to US taxpayers, says report
The Guardian, October 15, 2013

Study: Taxpayers Foot Costly Bill for Fast-Food Workers
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 15, 2013

Fast-Food Workers Depend on Public Aid, Report Says
Chicago Tribune, October 15, 2013

More Than Half of U.S. Fast Food Workers on Public Aid, Report Says
Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2013

Public Assistance for Fast-Food Workers Costs Taxpayers, Reports Say
Kansas City Star, October 15, 2013

Majority of Fast-Food Households are Using Welfare Assistance, Medicaid: Report
New York Daily News, October 15, 2013

Report: Burger King Workers Collecting More than $300M in Public Assistance
Miami Herald, October 15, 2013

Editorial: Working for a Living – New Data Prove How Difficult it is to Live on Fast-Food Wages
The Anniston Star, October 15, 2013

Half of Fast Food Workers Receive Income Subsidies, Medicaid or Food Stamps, Study Says
Hartford Courant, October 15, 2013

Low-wage fast-food jobs leave hefty tax bill, report says
UC Berkeley News Center, October 15, 2013

 

 
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