McDonald's hiring 50,000 workers today

mcdonalds_job_application.top.jpgDaisy Otero (right) applies for a job at a McDonald's in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, hoping it will lead to better career opportunities down the road. By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- McDonald's hiring spree is underway. The fast-food chain plans to hire 50,000 workers -- or roughly four people per restaurant -- in a one-day jobs blitz that spans all 50 states.

In midtown Manhattan, restaurants saw a slow but steady stream of applicants flowing in all morning. Job seekers ranged from high school students on spring break to the long-term unemployed.

McDonald's jobs: I applied!
McDonald's is going on a jobs spree, hiring 50,000 people in one day. Meet the people who applied, and the folks that already love their 'McJobs.'

Gary Phaneuf, 55, of Staten Island submitted his application after being laid off from a messenger position nearly two years ago. A 1978 graduate of Cornell University, Phaneuf said he fell on tough times later in life and now is looking for any job he can get.

"I'm currently not working, so I thought it would be smart to come in and fill out an application," he said. "I'll take anything. I'm just trying to get a job now."

Applicants started filling out forms at the 51st Street and Broadway location at 7 a.m. Within three hours, that restaurant had 25 walk-in applicants.

A couple of blocks away in Rockefeller Center, McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500) corporate communications team corralled a swarm of media covering the campaign the chain is calling National Hiring Day.

Early in the day, reporters and camera crews there outnumbered applicants nearly 5 to 1. McDonald's also brought on extra public relations staff to greet media at various locations throughout the city.

That said, it's not about the publicity, McDonald's spokespeople stressed. The chain has a genuine need for 50,000 new workers, said Danitra Barnett, vice president of human resources for McDonald's USA.

"This is not a promotion McDonald's is running," she said. "We are doing this because we are in an environment, in an economy, where there are people that need jobs and want jobs, and we have open positions to fill."

The new openings are available across 14,000 restaurants nationwide and include crew and management positions, part-time and full-time jobs.

The starting wage is typically more than $8 an hour, McDonald's spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling said -- but many of the stores list a starting wage of $7.25 online -- the same as federal minimum wage.

While that can be hard to live on -- especially in New York City -- many applicants said they don't mind.

Some say they see McDonald's as a steppingstone to a better career later on, either within or outside the company. And for others, even a low wage is better than none at all.

A year ago, Md. Azizur Rahman, 62, came to New York from Bangladesh, where he worked as a bank manager overseeing a staff of more than 50 people. Now he's hoping to clean bathrooms at McDonald's as a way to earn an income and improve his English.

His nephew Abdullah Ahmed got his start at a McDonald's about 10 years ago -- also with little English skills -- and has since worked his way up to better paying restaurant and retail jobs.

It's a different story for Daisy Otero, 20, who sees McDonald's as a place to get her feet wet in the job market.

A recent high school grad, she wants to study visual arts in college. On Tuesday she applied for jobs at Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and McDonald's all near Times Square, because she wants to get customer service experience and job references, as well as pay for her tuition.

According to McDonald's spokespeople, 75% of their restaurant managers and 40% of corporate employees started as restaurant crew members.

Barnett, who works in McDonald's corporate headquarters outside Chicago, got her start that way, as did one of Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women, McDonald's USA President Jan Fields.

"We've got an opportunity because we're a growing business to give people chances to grow into management," Fields told CNNMoney earlier this month.

Restaurant managers have the opportunity to earn $50,000 a year, she said.

McDonald's encourages interested applicants to apply in person at their local restaurant or online.

Since the beginning of the year, food service jobs have been one of the fastest growing segments of the job market, accounting for 63,500 jobs added, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average hourly wage across the sector is $11.72. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,804.80 26.65 0.15%
Nasdaq 4,765.38 16.98 0.36%
S&P 500 2,070.65 9.42 0.46%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.03 -1.27%
Data as of 4:57pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.62 0.09 0.51%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.48 1.91%
Apple Inc 111.78 -0.87 -0.77%
Intel Corp 36.38 -0.64 -1.73%
Microsoft Corp 47.66 0.14 0.29%
Data as of 4:04pm ET

Sections

While talking about the Sony hack during his end-of-year press conference, President Obama called actor James Franco "James Flacco." More

Investors beware: These 5 global crises are likely to rattle the stock market and world economy. More

Major Hollywood studios led a quiet campaign with state governments to censor Google content online. Now, Google is calling them out on it. More

Unilever sued Hampton Creek over its egg-free mayonnaise spread Just Mayo. But the company behind Best Foods and Hellman's mayonnaise has now dropped the lawsuit. More

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.