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REPORT: $6.2B in Annual Government Aid Required to Support Poorly Paid Walmart Workers

WALMART public assistance

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Walmart does not pay its workers very well, but that’s not a reason to write a blog post at this point, is it?

What about if they paid so poorly that it cost the United States twelve times what we spend on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration? Well, they do.

According to a 2014 study by Americans for Tax Fairness, American taxpayers are on the hook for roughly $6.2 billion in food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing that results from inadequately compensated Walmart employees:

“The study estimated the cost to Wisconsin’s taxpayers of Walmart’s low wages and benefits, which often force workers to rely on various public assistance programs,” reads the report, available in full here.

“It found that a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers.”

Americans for Tax Fairness then took the mid-point of that range ($4,415) and multiplied it by Walmart’s approximately 1.4 million workers to come up with an estimate of the overall taxpayers’ bill for the Bentonville, Ark.-based big box giant’s staffers.

The study then breaks everything down by state, including the company’s contribution to an outsized number of food stamp sales. From Forbes:

The report provides a state-by-state breakdown of these figures, as well as some context on the other side of the coin: Walmart’s huge share of the nationwide SNAP, or food stamp, market.

“Walmart told analysts last year that the company has captured 18 percent of the SNAP market,” it reads. “Using that figure, we estimate that the company accounted for $13.5 billion out of $76 billion in food stamp sales in 2013.”

Maybe they shouldn’t brag about this. They’re selling them to their own workers.


2 Comments on “REPORT: $6.2B in Annual Government Aid Required to Support Poorly Paid Walmart Workers”

  1. What is failed to mention here is that being a cashier or a stocker or greeter is not intended to be a career choice. Wal Mart jobs that pay only minimum wage are intended to be stepping stone jobs, or extra cash jobs. Department head jobs and up are intended to be positions that one reaches when you intend to work there forever and those jobs don’t require one to go on welfare unless you are trying to single handedly overpopulate the world. Quit complaining that entry level jobs don’t pay enough, educate yourself, work hard and apply yourself and get a better job. And if you do want to keep complaining lets hear you speak out on how obamacare cut the hours they can work and raised what they have to spend on health care and limited the amount one can save for health care emergencies. Complain that TPP will take away any recourse you have to deal with the companies and put that in the hands of a UN type tribunal, Complain that we have the highest corporate taxes in the world forcing companies to pay lower wages. Or better yet the author of this article could educate their self and until then keep their mouth shut

  2. I worked at Walmart, Ive been through their 35 hours of cult like indoctrination. It’s a very very simple fix. Any corporation who has employees that receive government assistance and still show profits, must either pay back the government or preferably raise wages high enough to get the employees off government aid. But that’s not enough in addition to this. Any corporation found guilty of padding the books trying to avoid this penalty. Well their top 50 salaried employees will spend 5 years in prison and of course they would have to pay the prison room and board. Easy peasy

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