McDonald's and other fast-food chains, once a first job for teenagers, appear to be turning into an employer of more adults: The average age of a fast-food worker is 29.5, up from 22 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
An optimistic view of this is that perhaps fast food jobs have gotten better, higher pay and benefits, and are therefore retaining workers. But, I took a quick look at the data and saw no evidence that relative fast food wages had grown.
So, I am inclined to think that the pessimistic angle in the article is right, it's a sign of a lousy economy. Look of the picture of the 59 year old man interviewing for a job at McDonalds after a "long ride in auto sales."