McDonald's Low Wages Cost Taxpayers $1.2 Billion Annually


Earlier we reported on a new study that found half of fast food workers rely on some form of public assistance to supplement their low wages, costing taxpayers roughly $7 billion annually.


A separate study released Tuesday by the pro-labor National Employment Law Project focuses on the cost of employees' government-funded benefits at the 10 largest fast food restaurants.

The study found that employees of McDonald's alone receive a total of $1.2 billion in public assistance benefits annually.

By comparison, the study estimates annual benefits at $648 million for employees of Yum! Brands (which includes Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell) and $436 million for employees of Subway.

Overall, the study calculates that the roughly 2.3 million employees of the biggest fast food chains receive more than $3.8 billion in annual benefits.


The study also notes that many of the companies' top executives were paid hefty bonuses while their front-line workers - such as cooks and cashiers - were making an average of $8.69 an hour.

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson, for example, was paid a compensation package worth $13.8 million last year, up from the $4.1 million package that he received in 2011.