You can’t always trust the dictionary

The 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, published in June, defines a “McJob” as “a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement.”

Merriam-Webster’s announced yesterday, much to the chagrin of McDonald’s, that they would not revise this definition.

Here is a more balanced perspective:

McDonald’s is paying considerably higher than the minimum wage in most regions, and many franchises are now offering health and dental benefits. The average manager in a company-owned McDonald’s starts in the mid 30s. As for dead-end jobs, with one-eighth of the American work force having worked for a McDonald’s at some point, the company has rightly been called America’s best job-training program. Young people are taught cleanliness, punctuality, and basic business skills. Over half of the company’s middle and senior management started as hourly workers.

My take: Right now 12 million people work in the restaurant industry, many of them in the fast food sector. So many people work for McDonald’s because the company, adjusting for all relevant factors, offers them a higher wage than is available elsewhere.


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