Low-paid cooks and order-takers are well-nigh ubiquitous at fast-food chain Jack in the Box. In ten years, the company’s sales have risen from $1.46 billion to $2.47 billion. But employment has gone down 5.5 percent. That is deceiving. Increasingly, the company is franchising more outlets and owning fewer. In four years, Jack has gone from 25 percent franchised to 46 percent franchised. The employees of franchisees are not recorded on the books of Jack. So there are more people working in Jack outlets but fewer on the company’s payroll.
Bottom line: employers hold the cards, especially as manufacturing recedes and services rise. High unemployment in the United States and San Diego could be around for quite a while.