American workers are working harder for less, with productivity rising but living standards stagnant or declining. At the same time, stock market wealth and incomes for the highest-paid Americans have risen. Against this backdrop, the pay practices of the nation’s largest private employer have come under increased scrutiny.
Walmart, with over 1.3 million U.S. employees and $17 billion in annual profits, sets standards for all other retailers and across the supply chain of one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.
In the last year, Walmart employees themselves have been increasingly vocal in protesting their low pay. Since the last holiday season, Walmart employees in stores throughout the country have repeatedly spoken out in pursuit of a modest wage goal: the equivalent of $25,000 a year in wages for a full-time employee.
Now as another holiday season approaches, this research brief considers one way Walmart could meet the wage target its employees are calling for—without raising prices.