The U.S. economy was hit hard in the epidemic, but has gradually begun to recover as vaccinations become more common. The Wall Street Journal reported on the 15th, McDonald’s, Amazon and other large U.S. companies are starting to recruit more grassroots employees, have raised salaries or increased benefits, to start the “grab” war.
According to the report, Amazon.com, which has been expanding its business scale in the past year, has announced plans to recruit 75,000 more employees, and certain regions are even offering US$1,000 (about NT$28,200) signing bonuses. McDonald’s also said it expects to recruit 10,000 employees for its directly operated stores within three months and will raise the salaries of existing employees in these stores.
In addition, restaurant chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Applebee’s and KFC are also planning to recruit tens of thousands of employees in the hope of increasing staffing when the restaurants reopen.
The latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that corporate demand for manpower has led to higher wages, with the average hourly wage of private sector employees rising 21 cents to $30.17 (about 852 Taiwan dollars) last month. Amazon.com said the average wage for its vacancies was $17 per hour, higher than the company’s starting wage of $15 per hour. The company noted in April that it would raise the pay of more than 500,000 hourly workers by $0.50 to $3, with an estimated size of more than $1 billion.
McDonald’s stressed that the next few months, more than 36,500 hourly workers in the U.S. directly-managed stores wages, on average, will be increased by 10%. U.S. McDonald’s about 13,900, of which only a small proportion of directly operated stores, franchises operated by franchisees accounted for about 95%.
Unions and other people have been urging Amazon, McDonald’s and other companies to raise wages for years, a labor-backed “Fight for $15 an hour” (Fight for $15) organization recently said that McDonald’s should be implemented in all its restaurants this minimum wage standard. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of mid-2020, the median hourly wage for fast-food restaurant workers in the United States is $11.47.
President Joe Biden and Democrats want to raise the federal minimum hourly wage to $15 from the current $7.25, but legislative efforts remain stuck in Congress amid opposition from Republicans and some Democrats.