A study by the University of California-Berkeley provides some answers on the impact of Walmart stores and wages. Wages not only for their own employees but the effects of wages in general where Walmarts are located.
The Florence City council maybe should have read this study before changing the zoning on Cloverdale Road so that Walmart could build another store. Not that it would have mattered to them. The council proved it didn’t care about the citizens of Florence, only that they cared about increasing its tax base. If I have hear it once, I’ve heard it 1000 times,… Walmart will bring needed jobs to the area. That’s bull crap people. Our area needs more than part time and minimum wage jobs. And what I learned from this study that I didn’t know, Walmarts in your area of living actually lowers the wages of other retail stores. I didn’t say that, this study did. http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/retail/walmart_downward_push07.pdf
This link will take you to that study that was done in 2007. This link will open as a pdf file so make sure your reader is up to date. It is worth the read.
Some snippets from the article for those of you not inclined to click the link.
1. Looking at the period between 1992 and 2000, we find that the opening of a single Wal-Mart store in
a county lowered average retail wages in that county by between 0.5 and 0.9 percent. In the general
merchandise sector, wages fell by 1 percent for each new Wal-Mart. And for grocery store employees,
the effect of a single new Wal-Mart was a 1.5 percent reduction in earnings.
2. Further, we investigate (and reject) the possibility that wage declines were an artifact of changes in
demographics of the retail workforce. If Wal-Mart jobs bring more minorities, women, young people
or workers with lower educational attainment into the retail work force, the wage decline could be
accounted for by the lower earning potential of these groups. But controlling for age, gender,
ethnicity and education did not change the results. Overall, the results strongly support the hypothesis
that Wal-Mart entry lowers wages and benefits of retail workers.
3. When Wal-Mart entered a county, the total wage bill declined along with the average wage. Factoring
in both the impact on wages and jobs, the total amount of retail earnings in a county fell by 1.5
percent for every new Wal-Mart store. Similar effects appeared at the state level.