Walmart Could Change The U.S. Economy – Business Insider
Walmart workers are striking for better wages, and for good reason.
The largest U.S. employer pays an average of $8.81 an hour, placing workers well below the poverty line. The workers are asking for pay of $13 an hour, with better healthcare benefits.
But Walmart’s wage increases wouldn’t just help its 2.2 million employees: the whole American economy stands to benefit.
A recent study by Demos, a think tank, describes the immense power Walmart and other retailers have over the economy.
The study explores what would happen if Walmart and other low-wage retail employers raised their average salary to $25,000 from about $21,000 now.
The raise would bring an estimated 700,000 Americans out of poverty and bring 750,000 more further above the poverty line.
And as these Americans could exercise more power as consumers, about 100,000 jobs could be added to that sector.
This could help revive the waning middle class. Many of the former middle-class manufacturing employees fled to retail when they lost their jobs, and now work at wages below the poverty line.