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Center for Labor Research and Education

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Wal-Mart and Job Quality—What Do We Know, and Should We Care?

This report addresses a range of issues surrounding worker earnings and health benefits at Wal-Mart stores. Comparing the company’s wages and employee benefits spending against the US retail and grocery sectors as a whole, the authors find that Wal-Mart is significantly below the sector averages on both measures. The research also reveals that the earnings of US retail workers have suffered due to Wal-Mart’s market presence. Finally, the authors consider the possibility of raising Wal-Mart’s employee compensation, and the effects this might have upon the prices of Wal-Mart goods.