Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hourly Wage @ Walmart

According to an NY Times article, Walmart's average hourly rate for full-time employees is $10.83. Most people seem to believe that Walmart pays only minimum wage but apparently thats not true.

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39 Comments:

At January 25, 2009 10:11 PM, Blogger Tyler Jorgenson said...

Great post. There are many misconceptions out there and Wal-Mart is included in many.

 
At January 26, 2009 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but Walmart is the nation's No.1 employer and their health care policies and union-busting practices are atrocious. Plus, they hardly let their employees work 40 hours a week so that they don't apply for health care. I think you should check out some of the stats at WakeUpWalmart.com!

 
At January 26, 2009 2:07 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Anonymous:
the post wasn't meant to take sides, rather share a fact around which there are many misconceptions.

That said I do believe that Walmart is unfairly maligned. Are their practices really that different than Target or K-Mart... why don't these companies take any heat?

The real solution to this issue is in government regulation because it isn't fair to set a minimum wage ($6.55) and then gripe at a company that pays 65% above it. I don't claim to know what low-skilled labor is worth, but if $10.83 is not fair pay, than the government needs to raise the minimum wage.

-Andrew

 
At January 27, 2009 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@AndrewFife - I do think that companies like Target and Costco treat their employees better. They are more socially conscious and I think they will be more sustainable business models in the long run.

But, yes, good point about the minimum wage.

 
At March 13, 2009 1:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fife, you should read 'How to Lie with Statistics". That average wage figure is meaningless.

Bill Gates have an average net worth of $20 billion dollars. I guess we're both doing pretty good?

Yes, Wal-mart does employ probably tens of thousands for high paid executives and managers. But for the hundreds of thousands of minimum wage employees, that their "average wage" is much higher is of little consolation.

 
At March 13, 2009 5:46 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Anonymous:

Walmart's average hourly wage statistic implies that salaried employees/executives are not included.

Furthermore the $10.83 figure fits the trend line for the hourly wage growth of "sales associate," which is Walmart's most common position. According to Wakeupwalmart.com, which is about as anti-walmart as it gets, the average hourly wage of sales associates was $8.23 in 2001 and $9.68 in 2005 so $10.83 in 2008 seems like a credible number hourly workers.

-Andrew

 
At March 13, 2009 7:47 PM, Blogger Tyler Jorgenson said...

This is a good dialogue, but I disagree that it is the governments job to increase minimum wage and 'declare' what low-skilled labor is worth. That is the job of the market.

 
At March 13, 2009 8:47 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Tyler:
A wage, should be determined by supply and demand just like everything else. What I meant was if individuals believe that a market driven wage is inhuman, they should lobby the government for regulation rather than gripe about specific employers.
-Andrew

 
At March 13, 2009 10:49 PM, Blogger Tyler Jorgenson said...

Andrew - I see your point. The alternative is to simply let their buck lobby for them. Wal-Mart has always been an interesting nemesis in that I see so many people complain about their practices and then drive over and shop there because they have the lowest prices. Wal-Mart has made it very clear in their business plan from the beginning that they are about getting goods to the consumer for the lowest prices possible. That's going to mean they can't pay $20 per hour for a checker. You can't do that without charging more than 97 cents for a roll of toilet paper.

 
At March 18, 2009 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Walmart's average hourly wage statistic implies that salaried employees/executives are not included. "

It does nothing of the sort. It's just a figure they whipped up for PR (spin -- something you no doubt are familiar with). But hey, if it makes you feel better about shopping at a store where half its employees are living below the poverty line, so be it. Live the delusion. Ignorance is bliss.

 
At March 18, 2009 6:02 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Anonymous:

the $10.83 number is credible to me for the reasons stated above. But if anyone skeptical of the data, lets look at the wakupwalmart.com numbers instead.

According to wakeupwalmart.com the average national hourly wage for sales associates was $9.68 in 2005. This does not include executives or salaried employees. In 2005 the federal minimum wage was $5.15.[1] So in 2005 Walmart paid 88% above the minimum wage to its most common position. Even today in Washington state, which is highest in the country, minimum wage is $8.55 so Walmart's 2005 rate is 13% above the nation's highest minimum wage today.[2]

So the point of this blog post is that wages for retail workers is an area that Walmart is playing by the rules and likely paying more than many realize. If Walmart's wage isn't fair, the rules need to be changed.

-Andrew

[1]Historic federal minimum wage rates: http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/blminwage.htm

[2]Current minimum wage rates by state: http://www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm

 
At March 18, 2009 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you trust their numbers because...? They say so and it furthers what you want to believe?

Additionally, your assertion that "Wal-Mart isn't as bad as people say" is a straw man argument because you've failed to accurately represent the case that's been made. You're making shit up.

The fact is, you're a professional liar (a PR guy). Your career is about perpetuating misconceptions. Examination of Wal-Mart's PR machine would indeed be a good study for someone in your field. It doesn't surprise me in the least that you've take the position you have.

 
At April 05, 2009 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for walmart and they don't pay me 10.83 an hour.......try 8.50 an hour and i work 40 hours a week ..

 
At May 17, 2009 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you are not understanding is that Dept managers are also hourly employees and their wages are averaged into the high hourly wage that is stated.

 
At May 17, 2009 6:56 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

What is the ratio of department managers to staff? How much more do department managers make than staff? It seems unlikely that any managers working in the store would skew the numbers because retail management isn't well paid and it's doubtful that such a cost concious company like Walmart would let themselves get top heavy.

 
At June 02, 2009 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That numbers B.S. including various high paid hourly workers to drive up the average.
The average for checkers at Walmart for example is around $8.50/hr.
Also for the people saying the 'market' is setting the wage thats total B.S.
You and I are subsidizing Walmarts low wages and low benefits with public assistance. Essentially the Walton family is stealing billions in tax dollars from the public each year. They're thieves of the worst kind.
Thats absolutely wrong and ridiculous.

 
At August 25, 2009 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wal mart does not pay 10 something an hour more like 8 something an hour and wal mart will write you up for getting anything over 40 hrs. you tell me thats a sorry company to work for...

 
At October 15, 2009 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get how you think some one who stands there running items through a cash register and restocks shelves needs anything more than minimum wage. A monkey could do it so i think it is pretty generous of walmart to go and pay 3 dollars extra to a person who does not need any actual working skills. These people who work at walmart should be happy they still have a job and should stop complaining that they still have a steady source of income.

 
At October 15, 2009 5:07 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Anonymous 10/15/09:

the issue isn't what you, I or anyone else thinks is a fair wage for any job. There simply are too many variables for any one person, business or gov agency to decide and market (as the sum of everyone's decisions) is the best arbiter of any and all price/wage disputes. In other words, it doesn't matter if the job requires advanced skills or no skills, what matters most is ratio of jobs available to job seekers with matching skills. Wallmart, like any other business, must offer wages to hire and retain employees at whatever their goals are, ie, high wages to hire quickly and reduce turnover, or low to if their openings aren't urgent and/or retention isn't important. If the end result of a market driven wage is social unacceptable than regulation, such as minimum wages or wage controls, can be used to correct it. And this is why folks who dislike Walmart's practices should be directing their frustration at state and local politicians, not Walmart.

-Andrew

 
At December 07, 2009 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just sad. You are complaining about walmart because the dont pay employee's better? Look around. Walmart starts employees well above minimum wage do you think kroger does that? the answer is no. they dont. I know plenty of people who work at walmart who also get 40 hours a week. no its not hard to get 40 a week its hard to get more than 40 a week. Furthermore i wok at kroger where they start you out at minimum wage and give you raises not based on work ethic, attention to detail, or ayhting that you can improve on (not saying walmart does honestly i have no idea if they do or dont) instead they give raises out every 6 months no matter how hard you work. This wouldnt be too bad if we got more than a 5 cent raise but unfortunately that is what we get.

 
At January 01, 2010 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one holds a gun to your head and keeps you working at walmart... quit... start your own company... get an education... become a Dr. or a nurse... or any number of thinkgs that ONLY hard work can give you. Piss-off a liberal= work hard, and be happy!

 
At May 18, 2010 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im a wal mart employee .My starting wage was 7.90 .To get a raise i had to switch to the deli department.This added 70 cents.I can look forward to a 40 cent raise each year...I just recieved a raise of 40 cents.The deli is the highest pay scale you can jump too unless you become a manager.

 
At May 18, 2010 11:25 AM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Thank you for sharing and adding a real word data point into this discussion. By any chance can you share which region or state you are working in to add more context?

 
At May 19, 2010 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Kansas city Kansas..I also forgot to mention if you miss more than 3 days in a 6 month period it counts as a demotion...the days absent fall off after 6 months..so.. if your one year anniversary with walmart happens to fall near the days you have been absent ,chances are you will recieve a 20 or 30 cent raise.
Also if you miss more than 3 days you will get a coaching (a warning )about a d day (decision day) meaning they can let you go for anything ..

 
At May 19, 2010 12:35 PM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

Are the missed days for just not showing up, or do they include sick days? Catching one bad flu could easily be 3 missed days.

Also, how would you say folks at Walmart view the 40 cents per hour annual raise? At $7.90, its 5%. Do people think its too little, very generous or about right?

 
At May 19, 2010 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This includes if your home sick.If youre sick for more than 3 days you must get a family medical leave approved.Just recently an associate i worked with had diabetic complications and needed the fmla ...she couldnt wait for approval but still applied and hoped that they would approve.Management told her that the doctors note didnt mean anything .Anyway ,she quit that day

 
At November 24, 2010 4:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walmart is our nations leader in out-sourcing jobs to other country's. How many products in that store are American made? Which makes them No.1 in supporting "Sweat-shops". Shan,e on them. It's money over everything.

 
At January 01, 2011 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently an employee at Walmart.I was hired for 1 position I am made to do every position...even though employees get hired at different pay for different positions. This means I have to do my job then go do the job of someone that may make more money than me. I FEEL ABUSED BUT i AM A SINGLE MOTHER OF 5 AND NEED MY JOB ):

 
At January 01, 2011 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are alot of people that dont even deserve min wage working at walmart but there are people that work very hard and do various jobs around the store non stop that are unfairly paid. You wouldn't understand if you haven't experienced it.

 
At January 19, 2011 1:03 PM, Anonymous Benjamin Abruzzo said...

I've read the comments from 2009 up to 2011. In that time the Fed. Min. Wage increased, the economy came limping out of a recession and unemployment increased.

-Minimum wage 2011 is $7.25 ($8.25 in Washington DC)
- According to the people who hate Walmart, the average wage is $10.40
- DC's unemployment is between 10% and 12%
- DC plans to raise taxes to cover their ever growing budget shortfall

In this, there is a major lobby to keep 4 Walmarts out of DC. With Walmart in DC the tax base will increase, spread to a wealthy corporation, people earning $0.00 will get jobs that pay and prices will decrease so the people not earning a lot can afford more things... like food and clothing.

How is this a bad thing?

 
At May 16, 2011 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Benjamin

There have been studies which have shown wal-marts to decrease jobs in the areas they form.

http://www.newrules.org/retail/key-studies-walmart-and-bigbox-retail

Various studies on Wal-Mart and stores similar to it.

The problem is that smaller stores can't compete with the low prices Wal-Mart can offer. If there weren't laws against monopolies, Wal-Mart would've already killed off what's left of its competition.

 
At August 12, 2011 5:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the length of this post, ( I have to submit it in parts) but I would like to address some of the things I have read thus far that have left me scratching my head.

First off, at Walmart, payscale is based on experience, education and other factors and rightfully so. People get credit for these things when hired at Walmart. Many companies do not take these things into consideration and have a standardized entry level salary that is non-negotiable. I ask, what do YOU bring to the table? What makes YOU think you are worth more to an employer than you are getting paid? How hard do YOU work? Do YOU go the extra mile? I have observed some folks who sit around making similar complaints (on company time), complaining more than working. I walked into Walmart making $2.50/hr more than I did working for our school district, taking care of children with special needs. (Now that is sad!) Apparently making sandwiches is more valuable than taking care of special ed students. Think on that for a moment. Anyway, I have also worked in the corporate world (Banking) and my entry salary at Walmart was higher than that of a top ten Financial Firm. I took on the job as a supplement to my income and now have left the school district to pursue a career at Walmart because I am liking what I am seeing there.

Next, I pose this question; What other retail store has educational opportunities that they actually contribute to? Walmart has their own Manager's Program and also is partnered with an accredited college and they contribute to assist employees to obtain higher learning. All employees have access to these programs, so if one wants to better him/herself, they need to make an effort. My advice is that if you wish to move up, work hard and let a manager know of your interest. Get on the company website (one is allowed to do this while on the clock) and look at the opportunities all around you. My managers have been working with me and assisting me in my endeavor to have a career (not just a job) at Walmart.

 
At August 12, 2011 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the length of this post, but I would like to addess some of the things I have read thus far.

First off, payscale is based on experience, education and other factors. People get credit for these things when hired. I walked into Walmart making $2.50/hr more than I did working for our school district, taking care of children with special needs. (Now that is sad!) I have also worked in the corporate world (Banking) and my entry salary at Walmart was higher than that of a top ten Financial Firm. I took on the job as a suppliment to my income and now have left the school district to pursue a career at Walmart.

Next, I pose this question; What other retail store has educational opportunities that they actually contribute to? Walmart has their own manager's program and also is partnered with an accredited college and they contribute to assist employees to obtain higher learning. All employees have access to these programs, so if one wants to better him/herself, they need to make an effort. My advice is that if you wish to move up, work hard and let a manager know of your interest. Get on the company website (one is allowed to do this while on the clock) and look at the opportunities all around you. My managers have been working with me and assisting me in my endeavor to have a career(not just a job) at Walmart.

 
At August 12, 2011 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next, I pose this question; What other retail store has educational opportunities that they actually contribute to? Walmart has their own manager's program and also is partnered with an accredited college and they contribute to assist employees to obtain higher learning. All employees have access to these programs, so if one wants to better him/herself, they need to make an effort. My advice is that if you wish to move up, work hard and let a manager know of your interest. Get on the company website (one is allowed to do this while on the clock) and look at the opportunities all around you. My managers have been working with me and assisting me in my endeavor to have a career (not just a job) at Walmart.

I am a part time employee and I have insurance, so that is also an inaccuracy. In fact, my insurance costs the same as it did at the school district. My insurance (the same insurance company in fact) costs about $200 less a pay period than it did with my Financial Firm. If you deduct the difference in my insurance cost, I am actually taking home more money at Walmart. I will also point out that most companies do not offer insurance for part time employees at all, let alone 401k, stock options and the quarterly bonuses we receive. At my Financial Firm, bonuses were great, but only top performers receive them. Once again, people get paid based on productivity and excellence, which is the norm in any industry. At Walmart, the payout is based on the hours you work and everyone gets them. My fiance' also works part time at Walmart and a full time job to boot. Within the first year, he had to have major, unexpected heart surgery. Walmart's insurance actually paid more into this major surgery and kept his job for him until he returned 10 weeks later. Most companies would have seen him as a liability and let him go. However, our store, HR department and management staff took a personal interest in him as a human being. As with any company that even has benefits for such things, one has to follow the guidelines and provide medical documentation. The person who posted about diabetic FMLA does not appear to know what they are talking about. The FMLA has many restrictions. Employees must have worked at their company for more than 12 months. They also must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year. Employees must fill out two forms when they request family medical leave:
The FMLA Medical Certification Form: The employee’s healthcare provider must complete a certification form in order to ensure the validity of the employee’s, or the employee’s immediate family members, serious health condition. The employee must return the certification within 15 calendar days of receiving the form. The FMLA Notification Form: An employer must provide this form to the employee within two days of a leave request.
I also think anyone who would just quit a job having a medical condition, isn't making very rational decisions. Anyway, a doctor's note is NOT sufficient in most work places, AND, management is not supposed to be privy to private medical information. All FMLA forms and information about an employee’s FMLA leave and condition must be kept confidential and separate from other employee files. It is an FMLA violation for an employer to share information about an employee’s FMLA leave with other employees. That is for the employees benefit and legal rights to privacy. That function is for HR to address. There is paperwork that needs to be filled out. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is the law, but there are obligations that the employee must participate in to prevent FMLA exploitation and fraudulent claims (another cost to companies) and satisfy legal protocol. We did not have any issue with this at all. It required turning in the paperwork and we didn't even have to pay for a stamp.

 
At August 12, 2011 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Addressing hours: I work very hard and nearly get full time hours. In my opinion, people who do not meet performance objectives should not get more hours. What happened to work ethic? What happened to going the extra mile? What happened to justifying your salary? Many companies have made cut backs in salary, jobs and hours in this economy. Reality Check here: Many businesses are out of business all together. Unemployment is sky high. People are losing their homes and can't feed their families. There is a cost of running a business and it is driven by sales, shrinkage, payroll, insurance costs and other financial factors. If sales objectives are not met, hours must be cut to keep a company afloat. That is just common sense. If you are a Walmart employee, be grateful that the people you are harping on (higher management) are there to make those decisions to keep you working, insured and out of the unemployment line.

As far as unions go, I can only draw on my experience with the one I was in. Perhaps there are better ones out there, but I paid a lot of money into my union with the school district and got little in return. I still have the nifty card to carry in my wallet. Not one pay increase in 4 years and others there longer than I, who stated it had been longer than that (and we had to have college education to even get our jobs). Programs for employees were cut. Again, nothing was done to improve our work environment. At Walmart, I worked hard and got a raise for my efforts. My raise was DOUBLE what I received as a raise at the Financial Firm. I have stock options and other benefits that the school district did not offer and my union did nothing to obtain. Walmart has an open door policy and an employee can speak for him/herself. If they are not satisfied with the results they get, they can go up the chain of command. Other companies will claim this, yet find ways to get rid of the "trouble makers" who do.

 
At August 12, 2011 5:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walmart also hires people with disabilities, are older than most companies are interested in hiring and they contribute to the immediate community around them, giving aid to people, schools, hospitals and support groups who need it. They also recycle cardboard, plastic and even food for compost.

Lastly, I will say this: It is hard to get fired from Walmart. Walmart gives people more chances than I have ever seen in my adult life. Honestly, I am not sure if I agree with this (lol). Most places will give someone the axe and without warning. Walmart gives people every chance to redirect themselves and keep their job. There are verbal coaching and written warning galore and they even give people what they call a "D" day, where they are sent home (with pay) to "think about things."

In conclusion, I would like to say that one should not expect to get paid like a rocket scientist if they aren't doing the work of a rocket scientist. One should not complain about their current situation if they have done nothing to take advantage of the opportunities that are all around them. Walmart is one of few companies that not only likes to promote from within, but they are willing to train you and you don't need a Master's degree to gain entry or move up.

 
At April 09, 2012 7:10 AM, Anonymous Ryan Stone said...

My step-father has worked at three different Walmart's, I think it depends on the store. When he worked in Florida he would make about 8.50 an hour, always got 40 hours, had 2 days off in a row, and only had to do his job. In his store in Alabama he got the same wage for legal reasons, but got maybe 30 to 35 hours a week, never has 2 days off together. Some stores are exceptional and help the employees as much as possible, others just don't care about their employees, so if you don't like working at your store, see if you can transfer.

 
At September 27, 2012 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it depends on how each store manager runs their place.

My store is a lot more corrupt and shady than the average store.

Because of that about 85% of our store is part time, and over half of that is relatively new people like me.

So we're pretty much getting a base pay for our pay level, with part time hours, and that's it.

And we're way undermanned for the amount of tasks and responsibilities that they give us and our managers.

I'm level 2, and have less than a year in like most. This gets me $8.45 an hour, our state minimum wage is $8.25.

If you want full time, you pretty much gotta apply for a dept manager position. CSM's have gone part time at our store and no one lasts more than their first six month tour, then they all try to transfer to a different position.


As for why Walmart gets a lot of heat, it is because they're number 1.

Business is a lot like evolution. The strongest/smartest predators are at the top of the food chain.

Walmart is at the top for that reason. But don't believe that any other big business is really any better, or by much.

 
At November 19, 2012 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 10.83/hr and if you're lucky enough to get 40/hrs week, you would make just over $18,000/year after 20% is taken out for taxes and deductions. If your rent is $500/month, there's $6,000 gone there. So now you've got $12,000 left. Utilities? A minimum of $300/month? There's another $3600. Down to $8400. Gas? $150/month? Another $1800. Car and rental insurance? $100/month minimum? $1200 gone. Down to $5400 and you still haven't eaten yet, purchased clothes for you or your kids yet, or made a care payment yet.

 

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