Wal-Mart Facts: How Wal-Mart Is Changing The U.S. Economy

Fact #568:  Wal-Mart is the world’s largest corporation, according to 2005 Fortune 500 list. It operates over 5,000 stores worldwide, nearly 4,000 in the U.S. and employs over 1.6 million people— 1.3 million in the United States alone. In the U.S., another 3 million people have jobs directly dependent on purchases from Wal-Mart. (Source: Wal-Mart)

Fact #569:  Wal-Mart is as big as Home Depot, Kroger, Target, Costco, Sears and Kmart combined. Each year Wal-Mart sells more by Saint Patrick’s Day than Target sells all year. More than half of all Americans live within five miles of a Wal-Mart store. Ninety percent live withing fiftenn miles of a Wal-Mart. With nearly 4,000 stores, that is more than one store for every single county in the U.S. Each year 93 percent of American households shop at least once at Wal-Mart. Worldwide, 7.2 billion people will go to a Wal-Mart store.
(Source: The Wal-Mart Effect)

Fact #570:  From 1997 to 2004, the U.S. population grew 7.7 percent. If jobs in retailing had grown at the rate of the population, the country would have added 1.1 million retailing jobs during those seven years. The country however added just over that number – 670,000 new retail jobs. Out of those 670,000 jobs, Wal-Mart created 70 percent of them. The remaining new retail jobs – 190,000 in the nation over seven years amount to just 540 new retail jobs in each state, each year. While the number of Wal-Mart jobs grew 67 percent, the number of jobs in the rest of U.S. retail grew 1.3 percent. (Source: The Wal-Mart Effect)

Fact #571:  While Wal-Mart was adding 480,000 jobs between 1997 and 2004, U.S. manufacturing jobs during those years fell by 3.1 million jobs, a loss of 37,000 factory jobs a month. For the first time in U.S. history, the number of Americans working in retail (14.9 million) was greater than the number of Americans working in factories (14.5 million)

Fact #572:  In 1970, the country’s largest employer was General Motors, with 350,000 workers. Overwhelmingly union, they earned $17.50 an hour plus health, pension and vacation benefits and cost-of-living increases. Wal-Mart states it pays "full-time" employees $9.68 an hour with no defined benefit pension and inadequate health care. That translates into an annual wage of $17,114, and puts them below the Basic Family Budget requirement of $23,705. (2005 study by Arindrajit Dube and Steve Wertheim of the University of California’s Berkeley Labor Center and www.ufcw.org)

For more facts about The Perfect Labor Storm, go to www.perfectlaborstorm.com


Ira S Wolfe