Study: Fast-food workers cost Missouri taxpayers $150 million annually

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on October 28, 2013 at 5:48 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 28 at 6:44 PM

(KMOV) -- St. Louis fast food workers fed up with low wages had the attention of city officials, local lawmakers and activists at a hearing at City Hall on Monday.

Fast food workers protesting low wages have recently raised signs saying their employers are super-sizing poverty. And new research suggests low wages paid to fast food workers are super-sizing public costs.

Researchers from the University of Illinois and University of California-Berkeley calculated Missouri taxpayers pay nearly $150 million a year to low-wage workers enrolled in assistance programs.

The study shows from 2007 to 2011, fast-food workers nationwide received an average of $3.9 billion a year for Medicaid and the children’s health insurance program, $1.04 billion a year for food stamp benefits and $1.91 billion a year in earned income tax credits.

A related report looked at worker wages vs. the profits of the companies they work for. The study showed the seven largest fast-food companies combined for $7.4 billion dollars in profits in 2012.

Those figures and potential solutions were up for discussion among state lawmakers and local alderman at the Monday morning meeting at City Hall.

 

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