Infographic: The Plight of Low-Wage Retail Workers

More

With Thanksgiving come and gone, we are now officially in the thick of the holiday shopping season, which means a good chunk of the country will be driving down to Walmart, Target, and other giant discounters to pick up gifts for friends and family. When they do, they'll be rewarding some of the largest companies in America for paying many of their front line workers poverty wages.  

As shown on this infographic from Demos, the median wage for full time workers at large retailers -- those with more than 1,000 employees -- is about $14.42 per hour. But at big box stores, the average pay tends to be much more meager. Many sales associates and floor team members usually fall into the category of "low-wage" retail workers, who are more likely to live in or near poverty. Of course, the major discounters aren't the only stores guilty of paycheck parsimony. But they exert a downward pressure on wages across the retail industry, which is just one more reason it's hard for working class Americans to make a decent living. Something for us all to think about when we choose where to do our holiday shopping. 

Demos_Demographics_Retail_Workforce.PNG
Jump to comments
Presented by

Jordan Weissmann is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In