McDonald's Immense Impact On The U.S. Economy

The Golden Arches do a lot more than just serve up a menu of burgers and fries.

What keeps the wheels of the economy turning? Is it fair trade and consumer spending? No, just a whole lot of burger grease. A new report from Oxford Economics details the ways in which McDonald's impacts the U.S. economy, contributing as much $108 billion to the country's gross domestic product each year.


Oxford Economics, an economic advisory firm, used data provided by McDonald's regarding the company's "expenditure in selected broad product categories within each region" from July 2021 to June 2022 to determine McDonald's impact on the economy. Depending on the category, McDonald's had direct or indirect effects on various sectors of the economy.

America’s fortunes are tied to McDonald’s

The Oxford Economics report finds that McDonald's combined direct, indirect, and induced economic impact in the U.S. totals more than $108 billion, with more than $23 billion being direct. That $23 billion also accounts for 22% of the value of all American production crops in 2021. That same year, McDonald's bought more than $5.5 billion worth of raw ingredients, including nearly 2.8 billion pounds of potatoes and more than 800 million pounds of chicken.


McDonald's also credits itself for $22.4 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue. Per the report, each job created by McDonald's directly resulted in more than $38,800 of additional tax revenue.

Speaking of the brand's employment efforts, McDonald's also boasts its role in the job market. Per the report, one in eight Americans have worked at McDonald's, and the company as a whole includes more than 727,000 restaurant crew, manager, and field office jobs.

McDonald’s and state economies

Even when broken down at the state level, the chain's impact is extremely evident. In Illinois, where both McDonald's and The Takeout are headquartered, McDonald's GDP impact sits at $3.2 billion; it has paid $420 million to local suppliers; and the chain supports more than 50,000 jobs.


Even in Wyoming, the least populated state in America, McDonald's GDP impact is $100 million, and it has generated almost $20 million in taxes. Restaurant Business notes McDonald's has been touting its overall impact as a way to combat a number of regulatory challenges it has faced recently.

McDonald's Corporation could be adding even more of its own flavor to the U.S. economy if its side venture, CosMc's, continues to bear fruit. The burger chain launched the spin-off restaurant in December 2023 and already its traffic appears to be double that of a typical McDonald's location, despite being about 2,500 square feet smaller than a normal McDonald's restaurant. A major fast food corporation having such a substantial impact on an entire country's economy may not be the most welcome news, but it is undeniable.