It probably comes as no surprise that Walmart is the biggest employer in all of America. Between floor staff to warehouse personnel to drivers and all the way up the chain of command, Walmart does indeed have the biggest payroll in the entire country. And last year, as a matter of fact, Walmart promoted several hundred thousand of these workers to higher-paying jobs; so much that the average earnings of a full-time associate is nearly twice that of the federal minimum wage.
And we know this because the retail giant released, on Tuesday, a 94-page document detailing compensation for all of its hourly workers. This is the first time Walmart has done such a thing.
The reveal came during Walmart’s first-ever Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report. At this inaugural event, the retailer pulled back the curtain on intimate details of how it pays, trains, and even retains workers. In addition, the event shared results from its environmental initiatives, including both its recycling and emission reduction programs.
Sure enough, the report showed that Walmart promoted 215,000 sales associates, in the United States, to jobs with “more responsibility and higher pay,” in fiscal 2019. This brought the average hourly wage of a full-time associate to $14.26.
Looking at the numbers more closely, an associate starts at $11 an hour (on average) per hour, which is 50 percent higher than one year ago. And, in case you didn’t know, the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour.
Now, key department managers for Walmart can earn up to $24.70 per hour but the average total compensation, including wages and benefits and bonuses—for an hourly Walmart field associate (floor worker) is $19.31. Of course, store managers can earn, on average, $175,000 per year; but like many companies, Walmart likes to promote from within and, as such, approximately 75 percent of the national store operations management team started their Walmart tenure as hourly associates.
All of this comes after many years of intense criticism that Walmart does not pay its workers enough to maintain a sustainable living. But with the recent corporate tax cut, the company decided to boost hourly rate to $11 an hour.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon asserts, “We’re investing in our associates through wages and better educational opportunities, benefits, and training.”
He goes on to assuage that “trust seems in short supply” among the biggest businesses and, therefore, “should serve more than just one stakeholder group…the opportunity for businesses and their leadership is to add value for all stakeholders.”