Fast food jobs are disappearing as fast food workers flock to cities with cheaper and more flexible work environments, with the number of fast food jobs in the US plummeting to its lowest level in nearly four decades.
The latest job numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that fast food work has lost almost 1.6 million jobs since 2010, according to a new report from the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.
Fast food workers are also losing out on opportunities for promotion, which is another key driver of the loss of fast-food jobs.
“It’s hard to understand why there’s a slowdown in growth in fast-chain employment,” David Leonhardt, a labor economist at the center, told Business Insider.
Leonhardt added that the trend is driven in part by the fact that fast-casual restaurants are increasingly finding themselves in a race to the bottom, as well as the decline in the number and quality of fast meals that are available to consumers.
Leonhart said the fastest-growing fast- chain companies include McDonald’s and Burger King.
Fast food workers often don’t get the same opportunities for advancement as their counterparts in other fields.
For example, in 2012, fast- food workers in fast food restaurants made up just 1.3% of the total workforce in the fast food industry, according the report.
This year, that number jumped to 4.6%.
That’s despite the fact there were just 932,000 fast-core jobs in 2014.
Fast-caseload jobs in restaurants also aren’t always the same, either.
The fast food sector has long struggled to maintain quality control.
Last year, fast food employers reported that a whopping 87% of all food was either undercooked or unappetizing.
The report also found that in 2015, the number a worker in fast fast food was making dropped to $2.15 per hour, down from $2 an hour in 2014, and from $3.45 in 2010.
The lowest hourly wage was $3 an hour, but that was in a period where the minimum wage was being raised.
The biggest drivers of fast fast-cash jobs, according a 2015 report from Business Insider, are low wages and poor job security.
Leonhardt explained that workers who work in fast casual restaurants are typically paid a lower hourly rate than workers at fast-time-food restaurants.
Leonhard also noted that the number on food stamps has dropped sharply, to around 3 million in 2015 from 4.5 million in 2010, with fast food companies struggling to find enough cash to make up for lost sales.
The fastest-rising job categories from the BLS are transportation workers and food preparation workers.
Leonhart explained that this shift from fast-and-slow to fast-fast-casually is a sign that the fast-service economy has become increasingly competitive, and therefore it’s becoming more difficult to attract workers with the right skills.
In a survey conducted by BLS, employees said they preferred to work at restaurants that were closer to home than fast food places, according The Washington Post.
Fast casual jobs have also become increasingly popular.
In 2017, BLS said that the average employee working in fast or fast casual jobs in general had a median household income of $56,000, while the average household income for workers in a fast- and slow-casino setting was $58,000.
The median income for a fast casual worker was $34,400.
Leonard said that fast casual workers tend to have less experience than fast-chains.
Workers in fast restaurants typically have more training, and are more likely to have been trained in other industries, such as sales or nursing, which can help them move up the career ladder.