DubeandJacobs-Author'sResponsetoWal-MartsStatements -...

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Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs Response to Wal-Mart’s Statements Arindrajit Dube, PhD (UC Berkeley Institute of Industrial Relations) Ken Jacobs (UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education) August 3, 2004 1. Wages . “Wal-Mart’s spokeswoman Cynthia Lin said that Wal-Mart's average wages are significantly higher than those paid by other non-union retailers and almost identical to unionized grocery workers, citing an average California wage of $10.37 per hour at Wal-Mart and average Bay Area rate of $11.08 per hour.” (Contra Costa Times, August 3, 2004) Based on detailed payroll data Wal-Mart provided in the course of a sex- discrimination lawsuit, we found that its average wages were $9.70/hr in 2001, and that 54% earned under $9/hr. Since this sort of detailed data was only available for 2001, and such wage distributions were critical to estimate public assistance take-up, we used this as the base year for our study. We compared Wal-Mart’s wages to those paid by large retailers (retailers with 1000 or more workers) in California in 2001 using the Current Population Survey – a representative household dataset collected by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. We found a 31% wage penalty for working at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart contends that in 2004, its wages in California average higher – at $10.37. In fact, this does not signal any substantial movements in wages. To keep up with inflation alone, Wal-Mart’s wages would have to rise to $10.38/hr in 2004. As real (inflation adjusted) wages are the determinants of eligibility and take-up of public
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This note was uploaded on 09/03/2009 for the course AMST 101gm taught by Professor Saito during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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DubeandJacobs-Author'sResponsetoWal-MartsStatements -...

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