The Real Wal-Mart Wages and Turnover


Tampa     Today in Tampa, WARN, the community alliance dealing with Wal-Mart’s expansion and corporate citizenship in Florida, and the Wal-Mart Workers Association, released the results of a ground breaking study on the real wages paid to Wal-Mart workers in Florida and the turnover rates for the company throughout the state.

We had made a straightforward freedom of information request to the State to access the records for the first quarter of 2005 on wages and hours that all employers are required to pay. When we finally received that after months of delays, we were able to successfully identify Wal-Mart and its data from the records. Finally for the first time anywhere in the country we were able to release the real information, rather than hear what the company hoped we would believe.

The facts, ma’am, just the facts! The facts were so different that the company has claimed, that they told the whole story:



● $3,300: Median earnings for all Wal-Mart workers in the quarter.

● $6.35: Hourly wage of a “typical” (i.e., $3,300 in earnings) Wal-Mart worker, if that worker was employed 40 hours per week for the entire quarter.

As or more likely, the typical Wal-Mart worker worked either part-time and/or was recently hired, though still at a low wage.

● $6.40: Hourly minimum wage in Florida as of January 2006.
(The minimum wage was increased to $6.15/hr in 5/05)

● 60%: Percentage of Wal-Mart workers whose positions pay (or would have paid) $16,000 or less per year.

● 60%: Percentage of the above group of workers in positions offering 20 hours or less each week and paying no more than $7.69 per hour.

● 34%: Percentage of Florida Wal-Mart workers whose positions pay (or would have paid) at least $9.63 per hour, which Wal-Mart reports as its average wage nationwide.

● 75%: Annualized quarterly (worker) turnover rate at Wal-Mart in Florida.

● 975,000: Number of people entering and leaving positions with Wal-Mart in the U.S. each year, if the national rate is comparable to Florida’s.

● $2.3 Billion: Amount of money Wal-Mart spends on hiring and training all of these new workers each year.

Estimates based on analysis of data determined to be Wal-Mart quarterly worker earnings (1st Quarter 2005). Data from Wal-Mart Alliance for Reform Now — 11/17/05

Workers and organizers briefed reporters for the Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times, and the story was writing itself. The company claims it pays over $9.00 per hour, but the facts seem to be $2.00 less than that spin. The company claims 40% annual turnover. The facts seem to trend towards 70%.

Transparency leaves the company with some significant explaining. Tomorrow, it will be interesting to see how the company comes back to something as clear as the facts.

Go to the WARN Website to see the full study – Wal-Mart: Real Wage and Turnover