Study Finds If Walmart Paid its Workers a Living Wage, It Would Cost Consumers $0.46 Per Visit More
Walmart employs 1.4 million U.S. workers. A study has recently found that if Walmart paid each of those empoloyees a living wage of at least $12 per hour, instead of the average $8-$9, and they passed every single penny of the costs onto consumers, the average Walmart customer would pay just 46 cents more per shopping trip, or around $12 extra dollars each year.
AlterNet.org - The new study, conducted by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and CUNY's Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies note that the increase would be “well below Walmart's estimated savings to consumers” – in other words, the big-box retailer could continue to offer “low prices” without impoverishing their workers.
More than 40 percent of the additional income would go to the working poor. “These poor and low-income workers could expect to earn an additional $1,670 to $6,500 a year in income for each Walmart employee in the family, before taxes,” write the authors. Meanwhile, while Walmart's customers are not exactly rich, those “who spend the most at the store are somewhat less likely to come from poor and low-income families.” As a result, only 28 percent of the additional costs would be paid by the poor and the near-poor.
No word from Walmart on this study. Though I find it almost impossible to believe that they don't know this. I have never worked at Walmart. I don't know what it is like to be an employee of Walmart, but I do know that making even a little bit more money sometimes makes life so much more bearable when you are worried about every single penny.