Chipotle To Raise Average Wage To $15 An Hour

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Elizabeth Weibel Contributor
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Chipotle announced on Monday that they would be increasing their average wage for their employees to $15 an hour, amidst ongoing difficulties with restaurants and fast-food chains to hire employees.

The decision from the Mexican-themed fast-food chain comes as they are not only working to hire roughly 20,000 employees for their upcoming busy season, but are also looking to staff “more than 200 restaurants,” which the company plans to open at some point this year, the New York Times (NYT) reported.

Additionally, the move to increasing the average wage would mean that Chipotle’s employees would be earning a starting wage of anywhere between $11 and $18 an hour, according to the NYT.

Chipotle’s announcement comes as businesses across the nation are struggling to hire employees, despite a high number of job openings in the labor market being reported.

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed in March extended already existing unemployment benefit payments of $300 a week until Sept. 6, in addition to adding $10,200 in tax-free benefits for families earning less than $150,000.

According to data released on Thursday from the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB), 44% of small business owners reported having difficulty filling positions, an increase of 22 points from the 48-year historical average, according to NFIB.

Following this, the Department of Labor released new data on Friday showing that 266,000 new jobs had been created in April, after predictions that a million jobs would be added to the workforce. (RELATED: April Job Growth Was Far Short Of Expectations. Here’s Why Hiring Slowed)

“The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market,” explained Neil Bradley, Chief Policy Officer with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.