On Wednesday, Shake Shack became the latest fast-food restaurant to announce wage increases and bonuses for hiring. This is because companies struggle to retain and hire employees who have left their jobs to seek out higher-paying positions during the pandemic.
Shake Shack’s announcement comes after similar promises by fast-food chains such as McDonald’s and Chipotle about wage increases. McDonald’s earlier this month announced that it would increase pay by 10%. Entry-level workers will be paid at least $11 per hour, while shift managers will earn at least $15 per hour. Chipotle raised its average hourly wage from $12 to $15 at the end of June to $15. These wage increases are designed to draw workers to the company by offering competitive wages compared to other industries. According to the University of California Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center, 75% of food service workers have quit because of low wages or tips. Indeed’s survey found that childcare is the main barrier to workers returning to work. 20% of low-wage workers prefer to stay at home to take care of their children. Companies like McDonald’s and other fast-food chains have provided emergency childcare services to employees to counter this trend. Some GOP-led states have also reduced the government’s $300 unemployment bonus to encourage people to return to work. However, this has not been proven to be a successful strategy.
Employers are now hiring job applicants who applied for the position months or even years ago. According to The Wall Street Journal, a woman was contacted by Cracker Barrel asking when she could come in for an interview three years after applying for the job. Cheesecake Factory also called one man to inform him that they had received his application and wanted to schedule a consultation. He had used it for the job two years ago and had found one.
9.5 million. This is almost half the number of unemployed people a year ago when 16.3million people were. This is an increase from 5.8% in May. In June, 850,000 new jobs were created.