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Number of employees in the United States fast food restaurant industry from 2004 to 2018*

This statistic shows the number of employees in the United States fast food restaurant industry from 2004 to 2018. In 2013, there were 3,653,168 fast food restaurant employees in the U.S.


Employees in the fast food industry - additional information

After peaking in 2008 at 3.67 million, the number of employees in the United States fast food industry decreased for two consecutive years to 3.51 million in 2010. This decrease is likely to be the result of poor revenue performance due to the global recession – the revenue of the U.S. fast food industry fell annually from 2006 to 2009. Nevertheless, employee numbers were forecast to rise to approximately 3.78 million by 2018.

In 2010, the total wages paid in the U.S. fast food industry amounted to 48 billion U.S. dollars and this figure was expected to increase by a further five billion by 2016. In 2010, the average annual wage for a fast food industry employee was 12.28 thousand U.S. dollars. According to the Social Security Administration, the average national wage in the same year was 41.67 thousand U.S. dollars – almost three and half times higher than that of a fast food worker. The average revenue per fast food employee was 47,060 U.S. dollars.

The world-renowned fast food chain McDonald’s employed approximately 440,000 people worldwide in 2013. Another well-known company, Yum! Brands Inc., which includes the chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, had approximately 539,000 employees in 2013, around 86 percent of whom were employed part-time.

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 Number of employees
2004 3,390,317
2005 3,514,631
2006 3,620,389
2007 3,640,517
2008 3,671,781
2009 3,577,393
2010 3,514,483
2011 3,588,288
2012 3,620,583
2013 3,653,168
2014 3,686,048
2015 3,712,415
2016 3,729,653
2017 3,748,365
2018 3,777,535
Additional Information
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