Report says low-wage fast-food workers cost taxpayers in public benefit payouts

We have covered the question whether raising the minimum wage will help or hurt workers and the "living wage" movement more generally (for instance, go here and here). Now, this article by Michael Fletcher discusses a cost of the low-wage econony: the outlay of public benefits for people whose wages are so low that they are in poverty. Here's an excerpt:

Taxpayers are spending nearly $7 billion a year to supplement the
wages of fast-food workers, even as the leading fast-food companies earn
billions of dollars in annual profits, according to a pair of reports
released Tuesday.More than half of the nation’s 1.8 million “core” fast-food
workers rely on the federal safety net to make ends meet, the reports
said. Together, they collect nearly $1.9 billion through the earned
income tax credit, $1 billion in food stamps and $3.9 billion through
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a
report by economists at the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor
Center and the University of Illinois.

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