- The Washington Times - Monday, May 10, 2021

Chipotle restaurants said Monday it will offer an average hourly wage of $15 and employee-referral bonuses by the end of June as it seeks to hire 20,000 people amid a tight labor market.

The company said hourly wages for “crew members” will range from $11 to $18 once its plans are in place, and workers can earn a $200 bonus for referring workers or $750 for recommending general managers and other positions.

Chipotle will also make it easier to rise to top-level management positions with a salary of $100,000 per year.

“Chipotle is committed to providing industry-leading benefits and accelerated growth opportunities, and we hope to attract even more talent by showcasing the potential income that can be achieved in a few short years,” said Marissa Andrada, the company’s chief diversity, inclusion and people officer.

Restaurants chains like Chipotle, McDonald’s and Papa John’s are scrambling to find workers to execute their growth plans as people remain on the sidelines of the labor market.

The U.S. added only 266,000 jobs in April, the government said Friday, far below the 1 million that economists expected in a major slowdown despite the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and gradual recovery from the pandemic.

Some people say potential employees remain fearful of the virus or have to sort out pandemic fallout such as child-care needs before returning to the workforce.

Others blame generous unemployment benefits that were designed to keep people afloat at the height of the pandemic, saying it just doesn’t pay to return to work.

Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, wants to convent those benefits into a bonus for people who seek out a paycheck.

“We’ve got to get America and Americans up and running. We need a pro-worker, pro-recovery plan. he said. “This bill converts the pandemic federal unemployment benefit into a two-month bonus equal to 101 percent of their current unemployment payment for anyone who gets a job. Go back to work, get your signing bonus, and get your paycheck.”

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