Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The End Of The McJob?

It used to be that the “Do you want fries with that?” McJob was the initial prospect of those who left school without much in the way of qualifications. If you like it was a sort of base employment safety net of our high employment economy.

McDonalds actually do try hard to turn raw unskilled but willing input into better workers and do promote as appropriate. They have training courses and their own university and everything. So the good news is that “Fries and a Shake?” isn’t necessarily the end state of that employment, a career ladder is available. Able but rubbish at GCSE’s and you can actually still do quite well in the McEmpire.

But initially at least your average entry level McJob was represented by poor pay, crap work and shitty hours.

Minimum wage legislation has put paid to the “poor pay” element of that. That unskilled thus not particularly productive labour resource has been made more and more expensive.

When a resource gets expensive relative to potential substitutes then substitution will occur.  Hence when you go into a Maccy D’s now a touchscreen greets you to enquire on your preferred choice of potato product, rather than an actual person.

Soon the next cohort of unqualified school leavers will be looking for work, now with possibly no opportunity to gain some McSkills and no foot onto any sort of career ladder. All low skill employers are in the same boat so they may not find any work anywhere and end up reliant on welfare.

You can now see the entirely predictable, extremely negative, employment consequences of hiking minimum wage rates when you stop for a burger – with or without fries.

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Climan
Climan
2 years ago

Mostly just the trend towards greater automation, seen also in bank branches (yes some still exist) and supermarkets.

Last time I ordered at McDonald’s I couldn’t understand a word that the cashier said, not surprising that firms are scrambling for greater automation, given the dire state of education in the UK, in which poor English cannot be corrected, as that would be an attack on an ethnic culture.

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
2 years ago
Reply to  Climan

Was it London, Innit?

Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
2 years ago

Some years ago I applied for a burger-flipping job in Burger King, and was turned for “not having any food retail experience”.

BemusedOnlooker
BemusedOnlooker
2 years ago

“But initially at least your average entry level McJob was represented by poor pay, crap work and shitty hours.” To tell the truth, those conditions almost exactly describe those of my entry into journalism many years ago. Come to think, they still do …

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