Contact Us

Yes, you can be employed and homeless.

June 1, 2023 / By Daniel Flaming

“What happens when you’re working but still can’t afford a place to live?” David Brancaccio  asked this question on Marketplace Morning Report in his investigation of “the prevalence of homelessness among fast-food workers in California.”

He asked, “when the report [Hungry Cooks] came out, there was pushback by the fast-food industry. A consortium of restaurants had, among other things, a full-page ad in The Los Angeles Times. They reject your statistics. They say they were manipulated, that your numbers aren’t reliable. What would be your response?”

My answer: “I think that’s a wonderful debate to have with the fast-food industry. We use the best federal data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, but what is true is that the fast-food employers have better data, they have the payroll data. So they didn’t put this data out and say, ‘You’re wrong, Economic Roundtable.’ In fact, they didn’t put any facts out, but we would welcome seeing the payroll data from some of these employers.”

The conclusion was that, “raising the wage floor for the entire industry is one piece of the answer. Standards about scheduling — both number of hours and predictability of scheduling — are another piece of it. And we don’t see a path toward achieving this without the public sector setting standards for the industry.”