Report: Fast Food Workers Have 'No Chance' Of Advancement

Do fast food workers have any chance of advancing in their field?The fast food industry is no longer just a pit stop for high school kids looking to make a few extra dollars. In fact, the median age of fast food workers is now over 28, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (For women, who make up two-thirds of the industry, the figure is closer to 32.) So as Americans increasingly look to the field to find steady employment in their adult lives, the question of whether the industry can provide long-term employment with true growth potential is all the more pressing.

On Thursday, the National Employment Law Project released a study in which it said workers have "virtually no chance of advancement" in the field. According to NELP's analysis of the U.S. Census, manager gigs comprise just 2.2 percent of all positions in the sector. Franchise owners represent an even slimmer segment of the field and occupy 1 percent of fast food jobs, according to NELP.

"While the industry argues that front-line jobs are a stepping stone to a brighter future for its employees, that's more myth than reality for most fast food workers," said Christine Owens, NELP executive director, in a news release.

Indeed, the findings clash with prior statements provided by the National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group, to AOL Jobs. Sue Hensley, a senior vice president for the NRA, has said via email that the restaurant industry as a whole "provides opportunities for millions of Americans, women and men from all backgrounds, to move up the ladder and succeed." There are about 800,000 workers in food preparation work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects the sector to grow by 10 percent by 2020.

Fast food workers themselves have already made clear that they're not content with their conditions. Many industry workers labor without benefits and for wages close to the federal minimum of $7.25. Over the past year, fast food workers have begun protesting their conditions, the first time in recent memory that the industry has been targeted by labor activists. Workers are calling for the minimum wage to be doubled to $15 an hour.

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14 Comments

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2012 Clark 2012

A lot of fast workers that I see in fast food restaraunts slowly balloon up in obesity as the smell taste and handling of food overtakes their mind.

July 27 2013 at 3:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
torandersen

"who gets health insurance for 20 dollars a month?" you can't even get accidental death for that if you are
22 and a non smoker.. how can you blame them... when anymore you can't even get a decent meal for 7.75 !

July 26 2013 at 7:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dentiom03

fast foods equal fast heart attacks. that stuff is garbage

July 26 2013 at 4:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
reticulum9

You would have to be an idiot to think of being a fast food service worker as a career. It's supposed to be for interim, temporary, part-time or seasonal employment. Not full-time, permanent employment for adults who have a family to support. If you are so lacking in skills, motivation or education that you have no other choice, the problem is not the fast food industry or "corporate greed;" it's you. I know a guy who started at McDonald's as a teenager and who now owns more than a half-dozen of them. He is the richest person in a city of 80,000 and lives in the biggest house. He worked hard for what he has and still does work hard.

July 26 2013 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to reticulum9's comment
Al Wolfe

It does come down to skill level. Yes I know of people who were able to work up the ladder. Some just to get over it's not all about them.

July 28 2013 at 7:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pope John

If you are uneducated, unskilled, and/or unmotivated, you might be a fast-food worker complaining about being under-paid. And, no, you won't advance to a managerial position.

July 26 2013 at 3:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kate

Maybe the workers restaurants are getting are not motivated enough to move up to management.

July 26 2013 at 2:42 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
fernbergbear1953

Although "phil" has a point, it is clear he is in a good job that reflects everything the others don`t have. It seems he has no clue to the fact most of those working to stay afloat in those jobs...work two or three of them to scrap by, AND still can`t get health care without going bankrupt in one fashion or another. So "phil" has his, and you should shut up and deal with going without, because he doesn`t. Also I might add.... The hourly thing he made in his statement, has been going on long before health care limits were inacted. But then, why would he care anyway...he`s got Rush Limbaugh to keep him informed.

July 26 2013 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
phil

"Workers are calling for the minimum wage....to be double to $15 an hour." Have ANY idea what that will do to the price of a hamburger? Nah. The "low information voter," doesn't understand the connection. How's that "Hopey/Changey" thang workin for ya'll? Got your FREE Healthcare yet? Any idea WHY your cold hearted employer won't give you more than 28 hours a week? Go watch "Americas Got Talent," and hope for your big break one day. SHEEPLE.

July 26 2013 at 11:07 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to phil's comment
spitzerodb

garbage food, garbage wages. Support local, reality based businesses not those profiting from poor nutritional choices and corporate greed.

July 26 2013 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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