New Report: Fast Food Poverty Wages- The Public Cost of Low Wage Jobs in the Fast Food Industry

Key Findings:

•    Fast-food jobs pay so little that 52 percent of the families of front-line fast food workers need to rely on public assistance programs, costing taxpayers nearly $7 billion a year.

•    Compared to the overall economy, fast-food jobs are twice as likely as other jobs to pay so little that workers are forced to rely on public assistance (52% versus 25%).

•    Full-time jobs in the corporate fast-food industry do not pay enough for workers to get by. Even at 40 hours a week, more than half of front-line fast-food workers are forced to rely on public assistance to cover basic needs like food, rent and healthcare.

•    In New York, the public cost of low-wage fast-food jobs is $708 million— the second highest in the country– with 60 percent of fast-food workers forced to rely on public assistance to cover basic needs. The states in which low-paying fast-food jobs cost taxpayers the most include California at $717 million; New York at $708 million; Texas at $556 million; Illinois at $368 million; and Florida at $348 million.

•    67% of core front-line fast-food workers are adults 20 and older, and 68% are the main earners in their families. More than one-quarter are raising children.