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McDonald’s Says Goodbye Cashiers, Hello Kiosks | Forbes

My concern about this is personal. Without my opportunity to start as a grill man, I would have never ended up running one of largest fast food chains in the world. I started working at McDonald’s making the minimum wage of 85 cents an hour. I worked hard and earned a promotion to restaurant manager within just one year, then went on to hold almost every position available throughout the company, eventually rising to CEO of McDonalds USA.

The kind of job that allowed me and many others to rise through the ranks is now being threatened by a rising minimum wage that’s pricing jobs out of the market. Without sacrificing food quality or taste, or abandoning the much-loved value menu, franchise owners must keep labor costs under control. One way to combat rising labor costs is by reducing the amount of employees needed.

The research supports my concerns. A 2017 study by economists David Neumark and Grace Lordan finds a minimum-wage related increase in unemployment among employees who previously held jobs susceptible to automation. Younger workers were some of the hardest hit by this outcome, which shouldn’t be surprising; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of minimum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24.

Pricing young job seekers out of the market and a weekly paycheck is just one immediate effect of an increasing minimum wage. A study by University of Virginia and Middle Tennessee State University economists found that teenagers who held part-time jobs in school had annual earnings that were 20 percent higher than their counterparts without experience six to nine years after graduation.

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McDonald’s Says Goodbye Cashiers, Hello Kiosks.

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