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This just strikes us an interesting: The Washington Post reports this morning that fast food breakfast sales are down 4% in the last quarter of ’09. The reason, supposes Post reporter Ylan Q. Mui, is that fewer people are employed. Fewer people are working so fewer people are scarfing down those bacon-egg-cheese muffins and tall coffees (or, of course, a large Dr. Pepper).

Breakfast had been a growth area for fast food joints. In the five years before the recession, according to one research group, breakfast sales had risen 64 percent. Then the recession. “Typically, if you’re unemployed, you’re not getting up at six and not going through the drive-thru,” said Jeffrey Bernstein, an analyst at Barclays Capital. “There is a direct correlation between unemployment and breakfast sales.”

Burger King reports higher sales at every meal time but breakfast. McDonald’s says sales of breakfast goods are particularly low in high unemployment areas. Wendy’s stopped serving breakfast, planning to restart next year. McDonald’s says breakfast accounts for 25% of its sales but 35% of its profits. 

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