August 25, 2005

Wage Differential at WMW

Time and time again, I read about the different pay given to men at women by Wal-Mart. But what of its opponents? I had this to say on the Wal-Mart Watch blog post:

How much do the female employees of Wal-Mart Watch earn compared to their male colleagues?

It would be very interesting to see if the staff of WMW, Wake-Up-Wal-Mart, and the attorneys suing Wal-Mart shouldn't be the first to throw stones.

You may not like it, but differences in pay are pervasive in the American economy. In 2001, WM paid $9.55 an hour to full-time men, and $9.27 an hour to women. Women earned 97% of what men earned. That's a horrendous wage gap? No. We can infer from national data in this paper ($) that Wal-Mart outperforms the economy overall. The differential overall was about 75% in 1999, although the age breakout gives a more relevant comparison :


Even if Wal-Mart employed just 18-24 year olds, it would still have a better record than the average (and of course its small gap and large number of employees pulls up the average figure somewhat). Of course, this is just one look among many, and I welcome other slicing and dicing of the data; but it is pretty damn dishonest to slam Wal-Mart for it's wage gap without pointing out that it's pay structure is far more equal than a significantly large chunk of the rest of the economy.

Posted by Kevin on August, 25 2005 at 10:08 AM