Surprising Stats About Fast Food Workers [Infographic]

Mariya Pylayev
Fast Food Protest
AP



Should fast food workers' wages be nearly doubled to $15 an hour? This has been driving a debate that has picked up steam since November 2012, when the first group of fast food workers staged a walkout in New York. Since then, dozens of similar protests have occurred in cities across the U.S. (You can see the how it all unfolded illustrated on a map.)

Activists have called for an end to "starvation" wages and suggest that large employers such as McDonald's and Wendy's can afford to pay more, while employers say that the workers are unskilled and these jobs are meant only to be short-term entry-level gigs, not full-time jobs.

"The restaurant industry is a launching pad," Andrew Moesel, a spokesman for the New York State Restaurant Association, told MSNBC. "Yes, there are some low wage jobs, entry level jobs for young people and others, but it actually creates an opportunity for people to go on and live the American dream."

But is this predominantly true? And who exactly is working in that fast food industry, flipping our burgers, brewing lattes and mopping up after the dinner rush?