By DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer
McDonald’s is raising pay at 650 company-owned stores in the U.S. as part of its push to hire thousands of new workers in a tight labor market. Ninety-five percent of McDonald’s are franchisees, and it’s also encouraging them to raise wages. The fast-food giant followed Chipotle, which also announced pay hikes this week. Wages and benefits for U.S. workers have been growing quickly as vaccinations increase and employers try to meet growing demand at restaurants and other businesses. McDonald’s said its hourly wages will increase an average of 10% over the next few months to $13 per hour, rising to $15 per hour by 2024.