A recent study by researchers at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education found that in Arizona, low wages in the fast food industry cost the state $144 million annually in public assistance costs. v The fast food industry costs American taxpayers nearly $7 billion annually because its jobs pay such low wages that 52 percent of fast food workers—even those who work full time— are forced to enroll their families in public assistance programs, compared to 25 percent of theAll of this while the CEOs and upper level entities in the hierarchy make hundreds of thousands and millions in revenue.
workforce as a whole.
According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, a worker with one child working full time in the Tucson metro area would have to earn $22.14 per hour to meet her family’s basic expenses.
According to a 2012 study by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), low wage jobs comprised 21% of recession job losses but 58% of recovery job growth, whereas mid wage jobs made up 60% of recession job losses but only 22% of recovery job growth.Eventually, everyone who makes less than $15 an hour needs to start making more noise.
The big fast food chains are profitable and have recovered from the recession, reporting higher revenues, fatter operating margins and more cash than before the financial crisis.ix For example, McDonald’s made $5.46 billion in profits in 2012, a 27% increase in profits over 5 years.
It would take a minimum-wage full-time worker more than 930 years to earn as much as the YUM! Brands CEO made in 2012. Meanwhile, Wendy’s paid its CEO nearly as much as it made in profits in 2012.