Reuters reported Thursday morning that Wal-Mart will hire an additional 22,000 individuals to staff its voluminous stores. Certainly, in this time of mounting job losses, a job at Wal-Mart is better than nothing as everyone has bills to pay. However, on a broader level, we are disturbed by what this announcement "means" for the country. Apparently, the deepest recession since the Great Depression has not been enough to derail Wal-Mart's growth. What then, could ever stop the discount retailer?
Obviously, those folks who view Wal-Mart as a net contributor to the US economy will cite the addition of 22,000 jobs as proof that the Company is a benevolent sort of Giant, offering regular Americans the chance to earn an honest living. The evidence however, suggests that Wal-Mart compensates its associates so meagerly that they are forced to seek the refuge of Government assistance just to make ends meet. A Government inquiry into Wal-Mart's labor practices, the results of which are contained in the report below, concluded the following:
Does the US need more Wal-Mart jobs? We would say no.
"A Report By the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Education and the Workforce" - US House of Representatives, Representative George Miller (D-CA), Senior Democrat, February 16, 2004
Disclosure: No position in WMT