The fast food industry is a poverty employer, with a larger share of its workers in poverty than any other industry. All low-wage workers face some level of risk that they will become homeless. This risk is compounded in the fast food industry by the combination of low wages, part-time work and employee churn. These interlocking hazards undercut workers’ ability to pay their rent.
COVID-driven loss of jobs and employment income will cause the number of homeless workers to increase each year through 2023. Without large-scale, government employment programs the Pandemic Recession is projected to cause twice as much homelessness as the 2008 Great Recession. The Economic Roundtable used data from the 2008 Great Recession to estimate the linkage between job loss and homelessness and forecast the amount and type of pandemic-driven homelessness in Los Angeles, California and the United States.