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Super-Sizing Public Costs
National Employment Law Project
tHE FaST Food iNduSTOryis marked by two extremes.
on the one hand, the leading companies in the industry earn billions in profits each year, award chief executives generous compensation packages, and regularly distribute substantial amounts of money in the form of dividends and share buybacks.
at the same time, the overwhelming share of jobs in the fast-food industry pay low wages that force millions of workers to rely on public assistance in order to afford health care, food, and other
basic necessities. This report focuses on the 10 largest fast-food companies in the united States and estimates the substantial costs that these highly profitable companies' low-wage, no-benefits business model imposes on taxpayers.
our findings include the following:
•Low wages and lack of benefits at the 10 largest fast-food companies in the
united States cost tax-payers an estimated $3.8 billion per year. Mcdonald's alone costs taxpayers an estimated $1.2 billion each year.
•While low wages and lack of benefits cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year, the sevenpublicly-traded corporations on this list remain in strong financial condition today. Last year, these companies collectively:
• Earned $7.44 billion in profits;
• Paid $52.7 million to their highest-paid executives;
• Distributed $7.7 billion in dividends and buybacks