Will McDonald’s Hiring Day Affect Unemployment Rate?

By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The nation’s largest fast food chain is trying to take a bite out of the unemployment rate. In Minnesota, that rate is currently at 6.6 percent. The McDonald’s jobs will be a help, but don’t expect the rate to budge much.

If you want to know what it’s like to be unemployed, ask Aimee Wierman.

Out of work for three years, she was one of the many stopping by her local McDonald’s restaurant Tuesday hoping to land a job.

“I do graphic design by trade, but a job’s a job. You know, they’re hard to come by,” said Wierman.

Approximately 197,000 people in Minnesota are currently unemployed.

McDonald’s national hiring day has jobs for 900 in Minnesota.

Marquello Hollins hopes he’s one of them.

“Anything that’s open — doesn’t matter. Anything that’s open I will take,” said Hollins.

Fast food, however, is just a fraction of what’s needed.

Higher paying jobs in construction, manufacturing and home building is needed to bring down the unemployment rate.

“We need the 5,000 to 6,000 job months would get us back in a couple of years, rather than the 4 to 5 years time frame to get back to pre-recession,” said Mark Phillips, who is the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s commissioner.

In fact, last month the state added roughly 2,800 jobs, which dropped the unemployment rate just a tenth of a percent.

So, the McDonald’s jobs are nice, especially for teen unemployment, but a whole lot more are needed.

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