PRESS CALL: How Low Wages Impact the Economy and Consumers on Black Friday
NEW YORK -- With $4 trillion in annual revenue, over 15 million employees and projections to be one of the largest sources of new jobs in the next decade, the retail sector plays a vital role in the economy, wielding great influence over the living standards for many Americans.
Just in time for Black Friday, when consumers rely on scores of retail workers to help them navigate the stressful holiday season, a new study to be released Monday, November 19, 2012, by national public policy center Demos, Retail’s Hidden Potential: How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry and the Economy Overall, examines the economic benefits of a wage increase for large chain retail workers on consumer experience, businesses, families and the economy.
According to the report, a higher wage floor equivalent to $25,000 per year for a full-time, year-round employee for retailers with more than 1000 employees would lift 1.5 million retail workers and their families out of poverty or near poverty, add to economic growth, increase retail sales and create over 100,000 new jobs. The findings in the study prove there is a flaw in the conventional thinking that profits, low prices and decent wages cannot co-exist.
- Heather C. McGhee - Demos Vice President of Policy and Outreach
- Catherine Ruetschlin - Study Author and Demos Policy Analyst
- Professor Zeynep Ton - Ton teaches at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and is one of the leading experts on retail operations management. Her empirical research has demonstrated that higher wages and increased payroll investment can be associated with higher productivity and higher profitability among retail firms.
- Manuela Rosales - Manuela is a single mother and full time employee at the Pico Rivera Walmart in California. She is a full-time employee and currently earns $10.70 an hour or $19,500 per year.
Monday, November 19, 2012, at 10 a.m. ET
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The report is embargoed for release at 12:00 a.m., November 19, 2012.
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