As Biden Brags About Hot Economy, McDonald's Begins Layoffs, Closes Offices
As President Joe Biden boasts about his administration’s success on the jobs front, McDonald’s has joined a number of companies in slashing its workforce.
The news of the fast-food giant’s job cuts was reported Friday by The Wall Street Journal, which said the company was letting go of “hundreds” of employees.
The report said the layoffs began April 3.
The Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter, said “some employees” would be allowed to stay on if they were willing to accept reduced compensation packages.
The layoffs are affecting the company’s 150,000 worldwide employees but not the 2 million workers at franchise restaurants, according to the New York Post.
The news followed reports last week that McDonald’s had temporarily closed its U.S. offices and instructed corporate employees to work from home through Wednesday.
The company reportedly said the changes are aimed at increasing the fast-food chain’s efficiency.
“We have a clear opportunity ahead of us to get faster and more effective at solving problems for our customers and people and to globally scale our successful market innovations at speed,” McDonald’s said in a memo last week, according to The Associated Press.
The company has not yet commented on the job cuts, but multiple former executives have noted on LinkedIn that they were among those laid off.
“I was informed last week I was starting my planned retirement 3 years early during a large reorganization at McDonald’s,” Tim Andersen, McDonald’s former vice president of operations and development, said Thursday on LinkedIn, according to the Post.
He added, “Although I always wanted the decision to leave to be mine, I am so proud of the 42 years I spent with the Brand and even more so the incredible people and teams I got to work with in so many different locations and positions.”
In an email to U.S. restaurant owners and operators Thursday that was obtained by the Journal, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger said the company’s brand “is in the strongest position it has been in years.” However, he wrote, “we also recognize that our business has grown increasingly complex in recent years.”
Erlinger said the company would be closing its underutilized field offices as part of the restructuring.
The decision comes as layoffs for the first three months of the year were more than four times higher than during the same period last year, with many U.S. companies looking to reduce rising costs brought on by inflation, CBS News reported Thursday.
Despite this, Biden recently praised his administration’s job growth as better than “any administration.”
“We’ve created more jobs in two years than any administration has created in the first four years,” Biden said March 10 in response to February’s employment report, according to the AP.
The report found that a total of 311,000 jobs were added that month, although the unemployment rate rose to 3.6 percent.
As PolitiFact noted, Biden has claimed credit for job increases that occurred as the nation emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He was inaugurated in January 2021, as the nation was recovering from the steep and sudden job losses stemming from the pandemic’s onset in 2020,” the fact-checker said. “The jobs recovery began under Trump, but because he was out of office only eight months into the recovery, much of the job gains accrued during Biden’s time in the White House.”
The outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Thursday that 270,416 job cuts were announced in the first three months of the year.
The majority of employers cited “Market/Economic Conditions” as their top reason for cutting jobs, the report found.
Still, Biden insisted the employment report “means our economic plan is working.”
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