McDonald’s Corp. has joined with AARP to recruit workers from the over-50 population for positions ranging from management to morning shift roles.


MCD, +1.21%

  franchisees plan to hire about 250,000 people this summer amid a tight labor market and high competition for talent.

The fast-food giant will post jobs on the AARP job board, and is piloting a program with the AARP Foundation to help franchisees hire a workforce that will incorporate employees from different age groups. The pilot will be in North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois and Florida.

“For the first time ever, give generations are now working together under the arches,” said Melissa Kersey, McDonald’s U.S. chief people officer.

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McDonald’s wants to take advantage of “mature workers” from an “underutilized workforce,” according to a spokesperson. The company quotes Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that adults ages 55 and over will make up nearly a quarter of the workforce by 2024.

Lucky for these “mature workers” the fast-food industry is on a hiring spree. Taco Bell, for example, is hosting 600 hiring parties through April 27, inviting applicants of all ages to attend a job fair for one of the 100,000 new U.S. jobs the company is creating through 2022.

Taco Bell is part of the Yum Brands Inc.

YUM, +0.41%


Older workers who are heading back into the job market are likely facing some of the money problems that have been popping up for those who should be nearing retirement. Many parents are financially supporting adult children, according to a recent Merrill Lynch study. Car loans and credit card balances are plaguing baby boomers. And older Americans are finding it harder to retire because of college loans.

Older Americans will also have to compete with teens, who will be out in force for summer jobs. Challenger Gray & Christmas forecasts that 30% of teens between the ages of 16 and 19 will participate in the labor market this year, up 5% from last year. Many of these candidates will turn to the leisure and hospitality sector for jobs as retail stores have closed.

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“Companies in almost all sectors are struggling to find talent,” Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement.

McDonald’s, like many other companies, said on its fourth-quarter earnings call that labor costs are a headwind in 2019. Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s chief financial officer, identified “wage pressure” as one of the key contributing factors in the 190-basis-point margin decline in the results.

Economist Ernie Tedeschi from Evercore said minimum wages in the U.S. have likely reached their highest point ever.

McDonald’s stock has rallied 11.3% in 2019 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.22%

  has gained 14% during the period.

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