McDonald's held its first National Hiring Day on Tuesday, a "super-sized" HR (and PR) campaign meant to add as many as 50,000 people to the fast food giant's payroll — and change the stigma associated with flipping burgers. McDonald's, which employs 1.7 million workers worldwide, emphasizes that 30 percent of its executives started out working lower-level jobs in its restaurants. Sure, unemployment is still high — but does the economy really need more McJobs?
Yes, the recession killed those jobs, too: People without college degrees fared worse than those with diplomas during the recession, says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, as quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times. The unemployment rate for people with no high-school diploma was 13.7 percent last month — and 9.5 percent for people with just a high-school diploma — compared with the overall national average of 8.8 percent. These low-level jobs can make a big difference to a lot of people.
"Job hopefuls bite on McDonald's hiring day opportunity"
This is a reflection of our weak recovery: "Has the recession turned us into a nation of McWorkers?" asks Annie Lowrey at Slate. Government data about the labor market paints "a fairly bleak picture: The jobs we're adding, for the most part, aren't great ones." The temp industry has shown growth, but that means jobs without benefits or "much income security." And the long-term pattern isn't pretty either, with stable, mid-level jobs being squeezed out. Instead, we're getting "employment polarization," with jobs concentrated "at places like fast food joints and universities — but not a lot of jobs in between."
"Heading for a McRecovery?"
This could be a stimulus... for McDonald's: The hiring frenzy sure drew a lot of people to the restaurants, says Annie Gasparro at The Wall Street Journal, and that could boost sales, even if just temporarily. "After all, who can turn down a Big Mac once already inside Mickey D’s?"
"McDonald's plan to hire 50K workers: Long lines for Big Macs?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
- The danger of the Democrats' lack of desperation
Subscribe to the Week