"Great Job Opportunities" - 52% Of Walmart Workers Make Under $25,000 A Year, But There's More...

Tyler Durden's picture

On Tuesday, the BLS engrossed in the same frenzy of openly making up data like the Dept of Labor has been with the initial claims data ever since early September when it started upgrading its California "systems" and never finished, announced that while only 140K or so jobs were created in September, nearly 700K full-time jobs were added as over 500K part-time jobs were converted into full-timers. On the surface this is great news... until one actually looks for empirical evidence that this is happening anywhere besides the data manipulating, massaging and fabricating models used by the BLS. And one certainly won't find it at the biggest private employer in the US - Walmart, which just announced that a whopping 475,000 of its employees earn at least $25,000 a year. Great news, right? Sure, until one considers that WMT has over 1 million employees, which means that well over 50% of Wal-Mart's employees make a tiny $25,000 year.

From Bloomberg:

Wal-Mart has provided some new and useful information: More than 475,000 of its 1 million hourly store employees earn at least $25,000 a year for full-time work. This figure comes from Bill Simon, the president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., who presented (PDF) it at Goldman Sachs’s (GS) Global Retailing Conference last month. The statistic, which was listed under the heading “Great job opportunities,” means as many as 525,000 full-time hourly employees earn less than $25,000 a year.



OUR Walmart, the union-backed workers’ group that’s been staging protests and asking for higher wages, pointed this out during a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. (The company’s presentation is also on its website.) Three store associates, as well as three Democratic members of the House of Representatives, called on the retail giant to pay all of its full-time workers at least $25,000 a year.

Wal-Mart is adamant: the pay is fair.

“We have hundreds of thousands of associates who are making $25,000 a year or more,” says Kory Lundberg, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “And the opportunity exists for those who aren’t to grow into the career they want. We promote 160,000 people a year.” Lundberg also explained how to parse some of Wal-Mart’s figures. The company has 1.3 million hourly workers, which led OUR Walmart to claim at the press conference that 825,000 of them made less than $25,000 a year. Lundberg points out that Simon’s presentation was referring to the 1 million who work in the stores. (The rest work as truck drivers and at the Bentonville (Ark.) headquarters, among other places.) So about 52 percent of its associates make less than $25,000 a year—not 63 percent.

The other side disagrees. As expected, the minimum wage workers demand - what else - higher wages.

“A decent wage is their demand—a livable wage, of all things,” said Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). The problem with companies like Wal-Mart is their “unwillingness, not their inability, to pay that wage,” he said. “They hand off the difference to taxpayers.” Miller was referring to a congressional report (PDF) released in May that calculated how much Walmart workers rely on public assistance. The study found that the 300 employees at one Supercenter in Wisconsin required some $900,000 worth of public assistance a year. Catherine Ruetschlin, an analyst at Demos, the progressive policy center, noted during the press conference that raising wages can be good for the overall economy. “Putting money into workers’ wallets puts cash in the registers of retailers, and with it the need for new employees,” she said. “We estimate that a raise to $25,000 a year would lead to at least $11 billion of new GDP and generate 100,000 new jobs.”

Trite platitudes aside - and if the workers are unhappy they sure can try to get a higher paying job elsewhere: surely their skillset is worth it - the reality as we pointed out in "When Work Is Punished: The Tragedy Of America's Welfare State", the comp more than half of WMT's workers get is actually in the sweet spot for "middle class" equivalent cash flow. Recall: "the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045."

And that, incidentally, is precisely why the motivations of the lower and middle classes are so warped: because when those who think they are worse off making just below the magic cutoff level are in fact better than those who make $40,000 more in gross income, then the desire to work and be "aspirational", upwardly mobile simply disappears, and with it the marginal productivity of the economy.

As for the angry minimum wage Wal-mart employees, we have one piece of advice - look at the chart below...

... and realize why it is in your interest to make just as much as you are making and not a dollar more.

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adr's picture

52% of Walmart workers should have demanded to be paid in Bitcoin. Then they would have gone from making $25k a year to $50k in one week. Depending on the minute they looked at the Bitcoin exchange chart.

Pladizow's picture

and their prices are EBT subsidized!

ninja247's picture

Walmart does promote much faster than other retail organizations. You may start out lower, but the raises you recieve occer more frequently.

That doesn't take away from the fact that retail wages (including Walmart) still suck. 

TeamDepends's picture

Plus, there's the sweet 4% discount on merch.....

Say What Again's picture

The Wal*Mart workers have the potential to really disrupt things, if they were to truly get organized.

Can you imagine what would happen if ALL of the WM workers accross the country walked out for even 2 days.  That would be fun to watch.

Almost Solvent's picture

2 Hours would likely result in a massive shitstorm!

Muppet Pimp's picture

The guys running Wal Mart have made a smart business decision that since Obama will pay to feed and house their employees, all they need to provide them is a little walking around money.

Say What Again's picture

I don't understand what these WM employees -- or any other amerikan workers -- are complaining about.  The NASDAQ 100 is printing a CAGR of 65%.  Why aren't they placing all their hard earned money into the QQQs?  A few moar months like this and they'll never need to worry about employment at WM again!  If they were really smart, they would start buying tulips now.

James_Cole's picture

That's a helpful chart for single moms, pretty sure zh is filled with those lol.

Gawd it's depressing what wal-mart gets away with. If only hell existed...

Skateboarder's picture

*friendly whack on the back*

You're already here bud!

MontgomeryScott's picture


back in 1981, i worked for one of the larger subcontractors of the M.I.C. at the tender age of 19, running and setting up 'triple duplicating' CNC mills, making wings truts and other parts for such aircraft as the KC-10.

I worked a 12-hour shift, and base pay was $6.60 an hor (a lot of money for a 19-year-old single guy in 1981). I was paid 'time and a half' for the overtime, or $9.90 an hour, for every hour over 40 a week. The payroll was split in to to categories: 'regular pay and deductions', and 'overtime pay and deductions'.

EVEN THEN, i got to take home about $4.72 an hour after deductions, for 'regular time' ($6.60, minus standard deductions) The KILLER is, that the 'overtime' earnings were $2,70 an hour 'take home' (@$9.90 an hour, before deductions), because this placed me in a 'higher tax bracket'. I found that working Saturdays was actually resulting in a LOWER TAKE-HOME NET PAY IN THE TOTAL...I actually LOST $3.20 per check, on average, by working the 10-hour Saturday overtime. I began to get pissed off. REALLY pissed off. I work MORE, and get LESS? To pay for WELFARE SCUM-SUCKING LEECH MAGGOTS who won't get off their ASSES and put down the BONGS and get a fucking JOB?

We have this 'greeter' at the local Walmart, put there like a 'poster-child'. She must weigh 380 lbe, as she sits there in her wheelchair, and we are forced to walk in past her. I think of all the tax dollars wasted on people who can't get their asses in to gear, and see how well it was spent, now, in living color. She's about my age, but absolutely helpless, looking like Jabba The Hut.

I only go there when i have to in the line of my work. I don't shop there.

They have this 'McDonalds' thing, just inside the door, where the fat and sick indigent people congregate and eat french fries, their 'single mom brats' screaming for MOAR.

Shopping there must be really exhausting!

Shocker's picture

Full Time Good Paying Jobs, Now Part Time, Retail/ Low Paying Jobs

Layoff / Business Closing List



markmotive's picture

This is what an empire in decline looks like.

Empire in Decline: Guy McPherson interviewed by Michael C. Ruppert on the Lifeboat Hour


economics9698's picture

Walmart is a very simple organization. If you work and are somewhat intelligent you get promoted. If you slack off you are demoted or fired. Reminds me of construction.

The worst part of the organization is the PC police. “Protected groups” and that bs.

quasimodo's picture

"If they were really smart, they would start buying tulips now."



Not lumping all WM employees in the same basket, but...........

harleyjohn45's picture

Yes , it started in 1965 under LBJ.  Obama just put it on steroids.


MontgomeryScott's picture


It started in 1913, under the 'Federal Reserve Act', and got a kick in the pants under Roosevelt's 'Emergency Banking Act' of 1933.

It actually goes back further than that, but 'false paradigm' posers like some here don't have the balls to study REAL history.

James_Cole's picture

and got a kick in the pants under Roosevelt's 'Emergency Banking Act' of 1933.

He was actually updating an already existant bank bailout, a bank bailout not many people are aware of:

The Reconstruction Finance Corporation spent $1.5 billion in 1932, $1.8 billion in 1933, and $1.8 billion in 1934. Then it dropped to about $350 million a year. On the eve of World War II (August 31, 1939), it greatly expanded to build munitions factories, disbursing $1.8 billion in 1941. The total loaned or otherwise disbursed by the RFC from 1932 through 1941 was $9.465 billion


I actually don't know if I've ever heard a mainstream economist refer to it.

bingo was his name's picture

2 hours would not be long enough - I think everytime I go to Wal-Mart i am in line for 2 hours

Say What Again's picture

Hey Wal Mart workers of the world.  Are you listening? 

Just pick a day.  You don't need to make fancy signs, or stand outside of the WM in protest.  Just walk out, go home, and watch Jerry Springer.


Gestwa's picture

As an anarchist who has watched the development of wal-mart strikes (a complex affair, combining aspects of liberal [we hate them too] unions and radical self organization and wildcat organizing) I would ask you to look a little more into the everyday needs and struggles of workers if you are serious about what you say. And if any of you "anarcho-capitalists" want to bankroll the revolution, we could use land, seeds, housing and the ability and knowledge to take care of ourselves. Give the land back to the people, kill the bankers and people will work it out themselves.

walküre's picture

The typical WM worker cannot afford to walk of the job. WM has that angle shut pretty well down by hiring slaves whose existence depends entirely on their income from WM. Telling them to walk of the job is like telling 1700s "negroes" to form a rebellion against the plantation owner. (No offense to Afro Americans a.k.a negroes in the historical context I'm using.)

The change you're seeking has to come from outside, from truly compassionate political leadership with a vision and a will to fight exploitation of human labor.

Equality is not a system where one man earns 99% and 10,000 men earn 1%.

NoDebt's picture


We've GOT compassionate leadership.  They are the ones supplying those WalMart workers with OTHER half of their income out of MY income.  If they were any more compassionate, I'd be the one who needs the hand-out.

You want to take it from the 1%?  Then go stick that knife you're carrying around into the proper ribcage.  The banking monopoly is where this all starts, not government hand-outs or minimum wage levels.



walküre's picture

The ones who control the boards at the banks are controlling the boards at the mega corporations. They work hand in hand on all levels and exploit the rest to the best of their knowledge and ability. When the revolution starts, many more heads will be rolling that are not ex bankers.

We have an oligarchy making politics for the oligarchs. That's not compassionate leadership unless their compassion can somehow be leveraged and marketed to increase the size of their balance sheets.

The leadership I was refering to has to be selfless and visionary as in the character of William Wilberforce for example.

Gestwa's picture

As an anarchist who has watched the development of wal-mart strikes (a complex affair, combining aspects of liberal [we hate them too] unions and radical self organization and wildcat organizing) I would ask you to look a little more into the everyday needs and struggles of workers if you are serious about what you say. And if any of you "anarcho-capitalists" want to bankroll the revolution, we could use land, seeds, housing and the ability and knowledge to take care of ourselves. Give the land back to the people, kill the bankers and people will work it out themselves.

somecallmetimmah's picture

Someday you're going to see what real anarchy looks like.  It's not that jerk-off fantasy where you do monster bong hits all day with diseased hippie-chicks.

Gestwa's picture

That's why I grow my own food. I suppose you're hoarding gold?

MontgomeryScott's picture

@ 'Say What Again':

I'll only go home and watch Springer if OPRAH and MILEY are on! Can you let me know so I can TIVO this show?

max2205's picture

Fuck...people make 3 x that on welfare....fsa takes what it wants, it doesn't pay for anything

13 trillion spent on asst in 3 years....who wants to work....

Agent P's picture

Why wouldn't they suck?  How much should someone earn for swiping bar codes past a scanner?  Speaking of which, if Walmart has 1.3 million employees, why is it that every time I go into one, there are only 5 out of 47 checkout lanes open? 

FrankDrakman's picture

Never worked retail, did you, buddy. Ever been a merchandiser? Stooping to put stuff on the bottom shelf, straining to put it on the top, plus put all the correct price tags on the shelves, and do a whole 4 foot section in two hours. Yeah, it looks simple, but I'd love to see you with a Plan-o-gram and a cart of merchandise in the aisle. It's physical work, and while you're not lifting 50 lb weights, you are on your feet for your entire shift, and you are bending and lifting almost all the time. I ached when I got home. The only reason I stayed was the job was right around the corner and it was all that was available. Once I found something better I was gone.

Still, it's not like you have to be a genius to do it, so I understand why I was paid minimum wage. 30% employee discount helped out, though.

nightshiftsucks's picture

Wa wa wa.....what a little whiny bitch. There are a lot of jobs tougher that retail,why don't you try working in a busy restaurant.

SnobGobbler's picture

please save some hate for the bankers!    btw... jobs are for suckers...

Offthebeach's picture

Stripping asphault shingles with a roofing shovel. Pulling the nails. Putting the striped shingles in barrels and lumping them into the dumpster. Then begin lumping up the ice and water; Rino paper, and the 70lb bundles.
Ladders, 16' planks, 100lbs 32' aluminum planks.
Like in Febuary. Morning start temp; 10 or less, Wind 5-10
No work no pay.
Age, 55.
( actually, its not bad once you get in shape. I think of it as getting paid to work out. )
Sleep like a rock.
Hot shower, 2 beers and dinner and its lights out. Every now and then a couple of asprins.
A lot of people my age seem near elderly. Complain about a single flight of stairs.

pursueliberty's picture

Not much harder work than lugging shingles, at least not that I've found.  And for the amount of money the guys make.  A local builder pays labor of $30/sq on his 8/12 pitch roofs, supplies everything but the nails.  Hard to compete with that


You do sleep good though.

El Tuco's picture

ya but roofing makes you old and cripple real fast.

MontgomeryScott's picture

PACE YOURSELF. LEARN your weaknesses, and your strengths. BUILD upon your strengths. LEARN the trade, and MOVE UP, OR AWAY. GENETICS play a part as well.

The average age of a doctor to pay off his student loans is 53. The average age of mortality of a doctor is 56. (Statistics per 1980 United States census data, I believe)  THREE YEARS OF FUN!

In the crash of '29, thirty-something investors chose to take swan-dives off of the highest buildings. In the crash of '08, a popular video was made, regarding the call of the PEOPLE for those same investors to take that fatal plunge. 'Jump, You Fuckers' was based on a sign that was held up in the OWS REAL movement (and went viral).

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO WORK to eat, there's always...WELFARE, you silly man.

MontgomeryScott's picture

'An honest day's work for an honest day's pay'. I have LIVED by this credo for more than a half-century.

All day, you work WITH your back, beating off those who want to be ON your back (would you leave him there, or beat him off?).

If you're lucky, you go home to someone who wants to be on her back for you, but if not, you get to pay someone else who makes a living ON HER BACK.

A home-cooked meal every now and then, without GMO's...

FUCK the asprin.


Offthebeach's picture

One of the saving inovations was the Mp3 player, and now the my Android with unlimited web. I either listen to what I want. John Batchelor, Mises lectures...
So, paid to stay in shape, learn outside the propagand flood ..
Weekends? No football/sports~(male Oprah hen fest for dolt anestized consumer proles)......rebuilding the 34' ketch I salvaged out of a estate sale for a grand.
I still have the deisel to rebuild this winter.
Plan B is load the boat with tools, work the coast, the islands ( I've worked stupid money interior trim, frames to grunt roofs. Light electrical and bath/kitichen plumbing. )

John_Coltrane's picture

Roofing is tough, but its a vacation compared to mixing, pouring and finishing concrete or building retaining walls.  But you get so fit if you don't destroy your body that you can't believe it.  Before I got a motorized mixer, I used to mix using a hoe and individual 100# sacks of gravel, sand and portland cement.   Unlike roofing there's no break because the concrete and/or mortar you've mixed starts to set in less than an hour.  If you work by yourself, like I did you have to section large areas just to finish it.   Never been in that kind of shape in my life again, though I work out daily now in my home gym.  Still after over 20 years, no cracks or settling.  Hard work is very satisfying and indeed you do sleep like a log!   

El Tuco's picture

A working man should never be ashamed. Some folks look at these people in retail like they are subhuman. WTF is the world coming to when people rage at the poor fucker making 8 bucks an hour but the banker and the fucking criminals in Washington fleece the country of trillions....

Walmart doesn't have to raise prices to pay their workers more. They would just rather see the billions pile up in off shore accounts....

cameldojo's picture


   That merchandising job you describe sounds perfect for a after hours robot...

RafterManFMJ's picture

Of course they promote faster! They suffer worse attrition than the French during WWI. You can pass a drug test and survive more than 4 weeks and you get to run the store.

alangreedspank's picture

Doesn't EBT actually bid up prices instead by creating demand that would not be there absent EBT ?

iDealMeat's picture

Yes..   Any govt. subsidy will...

John_Coltrane's picture

Could that be the reason for the incredible inflation in education and health care-the most government subsidized areas of the economy?  My mind is blown, my mind is blown.  So, am I correct that competition is the secret to lowering prices?  Could that explain the deflation in consumer electronics prices?  I believe this principle could underlie sound economics!  We must pass this information on to the government so they can end these subsidies (Dept of Education, medicare, medicaid, EBT, TSA) right now!  I believe that would also mean no additional debt would be needed.  Its revolutionary.

House-of-Cards's picture


Hey alangreedspank....

Sorry, not only do I NOT agree with that, but you are completely wrong. 

EBT dollars being spent are transfer payments of which our Mafia government takes their cut.  Why would you assume that the taxpayer who furnished the transfer payment $$$ would not spend that money on themselves and their families?

You're drinking too much liberal cool-aid!

House-of-Cards's picture

And who are the 14 numb nuts who agreed with you?  I thought we had a better than average IQ in here.