For Immediate Release
Alan Barber, (202) 293-5380 x115
Slow Progress for Fast Food Workers
WASHINGTON - Fast food workers are often thought of as high school kids working to make some extra spending money. And now that workers in the industry have gone on strike in several U.S. cities, some are using that image as a reason to argue against higher wages for the people who work in fast food. But a close look at the numbers by CEPR researchers John Schmitt and Janelle Jones paints a much different picture.
Looking at the most recent data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), Schmitt and Jones reveal that less than a third of fast food workers are teenagers. Over 70 percent have a high school degree and 30 percent of these workers have some college education. More than a quarter of workers in this industry have a child. But despite their age and education, their wages are low, with most fast food workers making between $7.25 (the current federal minimum wage) and $10.10 an hour.
Schmitt and Jones go into more detail in "Slow Progress for Fast Food Workers."
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