PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of McDonald’s across the country were extra busy today, but not because of customers. People packed the popular fast food chain, hoping to get a job.

There wasn’t much elbow room at the McDonald’s at 52nd and Jefferson Streets on Tuesday. In addition to the morning breakfast crowd, there was a mass of job applicants hoping to take advantage of the company’s annual National Hiring Day.

“It’s not the best, but it’s something, it’s money coming in,” said Tonya Funderbirk of Philadelphia. The 40-year-old mother of four was among hundreds of people at the McDonald’s.

On the company’s National Hiring Day, McDonald’s plans to hire 50,000 people nationwide and more than 1,300 people from this area. Prospective employees filled out applications for themselves and some even took extra applications for family members.

“For my aunt, my nieces and my cousins,” said David Harris. “They wanted a job here too.”

The Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, John Dodds wasn’t surprised by the number of people who stood in long lines to work for the world’s largest fast food chain. “The unemployment rate has been over 10% for the last 20 months.”

At the McDonald’s in West Philadelphia some people were dressed in casual clothes, local McDonald’s owner John Dawkins, says job seekers in suits stood out.

“We’re seeing more professional people coming in who are out of work or just graduating from college,” said Dawkins who owns a total of 9 McDonald’s restaurants in Philadelphia.

20-year-old Ivan Pointer understands the importance of a first impression. Tuesday morning he came dressed in a gray suit and tie with shoes to match. “When I come out to the interview I really come dressed to impress and let them know that I’m serious about having a job.”

Those who already have jobs weren’t afraid to share their story about how they’ve been successful working at McDonald’s. Joseph McIntosh says four years ago he started as a cashier. Now he’s the assistant to the general manager.

“You have to use this as stepping stone for a better life,” said McIntosh.

And 79-year-old Robert Dixon has been a maintenance worker for McDonald’s for 12 years. He says he advises anyone who gets a job, to do the best they can, so they can keep it.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the average pay for the jobs is $8.30 an hour.

For more information on National Hiring Day go to:

Reported by KYW’s Paul Kurtz; Jericka Duncan, CBS 3

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