Saturday, April 23, 2011

McJobs at McDonalds for 99ers

Mrs. Kroc, the woman who had inherited the McDonald's chain from her late husband, was betting heavily in the Barracat pit in the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas Nevada - where I had been working at the time as a casino bartender. She had overheard a young cocktail waitress (named Peggy) humming the Burger King jingle. Mrs. Kroc became so offended, so insulted, and so outraged (poor darling) that she had the young girl fired from her job. I admit that the cocktail server may have acted a little immaturely, but do rich people really have such thin skins? People with that kind of money and power can be extremely ruthless, especially to the "little people", such as the McThings.

The fast-food chain McDonald's has been trying to grab positive headlines in a very weak economic recovery still struggling to create "living-wage" jobs, and is now taking applications for more than 50,000 McJobs in 14,000 U.S. restaurants, which means 7 percent more burger-flippers, French fryers, cashiers, as well as managers. The chain says it would not be surprised to receive more than 250,000 applications.

In other words, McDonald's also believes that there is only 1 job available for every 5 applicants. So Mister John Boehner, "Where are the McJobs?"

But that's normal as McDonald's normally hires thousands of people every year to compensate for turnover and McDonald’s usually staffs up for summer McJobs anyway. A spokeswoman said last year McDonald’s hired 50,000 employees throughout April. That's the main reason the company is hiring: It expects a strong summer season, and some restaurants are moving to a 24-hour schedule, which will require an additional shift. A significant portion of it is likely to involve teenagers or people without a college degree. The teen unemployment rate is currently 24.5 percent.

Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski told Reuters that the announcement "certainly seems like a way to attract some favorable publicity around something it was more or less going to do anyway."

"McJob" has become slang for low-wage, unskilled labor. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “an un-stimulating, low-paid job with few prospects.” The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defined it as "a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement". And how many comedians have used the punch line about someone who they felt could not go anywhere with the phrase, “Do you want fries with that?”

What did seem clear was that McDonald's got more than enough applicants to meet a growing demand for value-priced meals in a very tight and jobless economy. During good economic times, flipping burgers and making fries was often viewed with disdain by many job hunters. But after the worst recession in decades, McJobs are taking on a whole new look, attracting everyone from students and recent graduates to desperate people trying to re-enter the workforce after layoffs (Google "99ers").

The average starting wage is $8 an hour, according to McDonald’s. The average pay for entry-level jobs at McDonald's is about $8.30 per hour nationwide, or about $15,000 per year at 35 hours per week. Many employees, however, average 18 hours a week, and most franchisees pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly wage across the food sector is $11.72 - so by national standards, the pay for ANY McJob is low. (Although, manager trainees might earn $13 an hour).

John Challenger is the CEO of an outplacement consulting organization (the process of easing unwanted or unneeded executives out of a company by providing company-paid assistance in finding them new jobs) says, "These are precisely the types of jobs that are needed to address the highest rates of unemployment, which currently exist among teenagers (24.5%) and those over 25 without college degrees (10.5%)." (Oh really John?)

But after all the publicity and hoopla, it seems that many, and probably most, of the new hires will have part-time McJobs with little to no benefits - - - and not paying a "living wage". They would not be the sort of McJob that a grown-up adult with children and a home mortgage could benefit from.

But 6 million desperate unemployed 99ers might bite. But even so, that would still leave 5,950,000 unemployed 99ers (and "exhaustees") left to hire, all who are trying to pay the rent and feed themselves with NO INCOME AT ALL. And add to that another 24 million under and unemployed Americans doing the same exact thing.

How much was Mrs. Kroc betting at that high-limit table in Las Vegas? Was it $25,000 a hand? Either way, a measly 50,000 low-paying McJobs doesn't really help all that damn McMuch.

1 comment:

  1. In this wonderful state that I live in,Illinois, you also need to speak Spanish to work at Mickey D's and most everywhere else....gee, the last time I looked I thought I was in USA, I feel that I woke up in a nightmare that never ends....I read all of your posts, Bud, and I agree with everything that you post. Unfortunately, the top 2 percent now run our country (along with all politicians)I have seen this coming for over 35 years. I know already that it is too late for me, but I hope that things change for the children in my family, my great nieces and nephews. All just too sad.....