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McDonald’s is raising wages at company-owned restaurants

McDonald’s is the latest restaurant to say it’s raising wages in a bid to attract workers. The company is increasing hourly employees’ pay by about 10 percent, it announced Thursday — but the change applies only to a small percentage of staff.

Entry-level employees will earn at least $11 to $17 an hour, the company said in a statement. Shift managers will earn at least $15 to $20 an hour, CNN reports. The company has already started implementing the increases and will continue to roll them out in the months ahead. Hourly wages should reach $15 on average at the restaurants by 2024, the company said.

The increase will impact about 36,500 employees who work at McDonald’s corporate-owned restaurants, which make up just 5 percent of its US stores. The remaining 95 percent of McDonald’s US restaurants are owned and operated by franchisees, who can make their own decisions about wages.

And the move falls short of the $15 minimum wage supported by President Joe Biden, many congressional Democrats, and labor activists.

As restaurants reopen their dining rooms, they are ramping up hiring efforts. McDonald’s wants to hire about 10,000 employees at its company-owned restaurants this summer, the company said.

That could be challenging.

Restaurants across the sector have pointed to staffing as a serious challenge, according to CNN. Some restaurant operators said that job postings that would have drawn in prospective hires in droves in the past are failing to attract applicants.

In an effort to bring in desperately needed staff to an industry in which people are notoriously underpaid, some chains and independent restaurants are raising wages.

Chipotle, for example, said this week that it is raising worker pay to an average of $15 per hour and that some employees will become eligible to make a six-figure salary after just a few years on the job. The fast-casual chain wants to hire 20,000 employees ahead of the summer and is also rolling out a $200 employee referral bonus. Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and others, announced its own wage increase in March.

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