Nov. 2, 2013
That figure made headlines last month after researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, reported that front-line workers at fast-food restaurants, and their families, receive at least $7 billion a year in public benefits to supplement their wages—typically, under $9 an hour. The authors described the amount as ""the public cost of low-wage jobs in the fast-food industry.
Other researchers dispute that interpretation. They say the cost to the public would be higher without those jobs. And if fast-food restaurants raised their wages, that wouldn't guarantee a corresponding decline in benefits: Some restaurants might automate functions and cut jobs, and some benefits remain available to workers making higher salaries.
Real spending on travel and tourism decelerated in the second quarter of 2013, increasing at an annual rate of 2.5 percent after increasing 7.3 percent (revised) in the first quarter of 2013. By comparison, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated, increasing 2.5 percent (second estimate) in the second quarter after increasing 1.1 percent in the first quarter.