Majority of US fast food workers need public assistance

More than half of low-wage workers employed by the largest U.S. fast-food restaurants earn so little that they must rely on public assistance to get by, costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year, according to a pair of reports released Tuesday. 
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and public benefit programs shows 52 percent of fast-food cooks, cashiers and other staffers relied on at least one form of public assistance, such as Medicare, food stamps and the earned income tax credit — a federal tax credit for low-to-moderate-income working individuals and families — from 2007 to 2011, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said in a report (PDF).
In another recent report, the pro-labor National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that the 10 largest fast-food companies in the U.S. cost taxpayers more than $3.8 billion each year in public assistance (PDF) because the workers do not make enough to pay for basic necessities themselves.

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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Majority of US fast food workers need public assistance

More than half of low-wage workers employed by the largest U.S. fast-food restaurants earn so little that they must rely on public assistance to get by, costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year, according to a pair of reports released Tuesday. 

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and public benefit programs shows 52 percent of fast-food cooks, cashiers and other staffers relied on at least one form of public assistance, such as Medicare, food stamps and the earned income tax credit — a federal tax credit for low-to-moderate-income working individuals and families — from 2007 to 2011, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign said in a report (PDF).

In another recent report, the pro-labor National Employment Law Project (NELP) found that the 10 largest fast-food companies in the U.S. cost taxpayers more than $3.8 billion each year in public assistance (PDF) because the workers do not make enough to pay for basic necessities themselves.

Read more

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images