Wal-Mart wages are so low they force many of its employees onto the public doles, creating a drag on taxpayers and the economy, according to a new report from the staff of Congressional Democrats.
The report analyzes data from Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, estimating that a single 300-person, Wal-Mart Supercenter store in that state likely costs taxpayers at least $904,542 per year and could cost up to $1,744,590 per year, or roughly $5,815 per employee.
“While employers like Wal-Mart seek to reap significant profits through the depression of labor costs, the social costs of this low-wage strategy are externalized,” conclude the report’s authors, the Democratic staff of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Low wages not only harm workers and their families – they cost taxpayers.”
Titled “The Low-Wage Drag on Our Economy: Wal-Mart’s Low Wages and Their Effect on Taxpayers and Economic Growth,” the report is an update to a 2004 report. The revised version advocates for several measures, including the reform of labor laws to make collective bargaining easier and the raising of the minimum wage.