Walmart employees cost taxpayers about $6 billion a year

by Marty Carlson


For some time now we been hearing stories about the cost of Walmart employees to the taxpayers because of low wages.

I recently read a report that they are costing about $6.2 billion in public assistance a year. This includes food stamps, the Forbes magazine staff wrote Medicaid, subsidized housing, and the report.

Data from a 2013 study estimate the low wages force workers to rely on public assistance programs. And a major cost to Wisconsin’s taxpayers.


it found that a single Walmart supercenter cost taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per year, or between $3,000 and $6,000.

And a group called Americans for tax fairness took the midpoint of that range and multiplied it by Walmart approximately 1.4 million workers.

The report also provides a state-by-state breakdown of those figures as well as some context on the other side of the coin. Which is Walmart benefiting from the food stamp program.

Walmart had told analysts recently that the company has captured 18% of the SNAP market, and using that figure it was estimated Walmart accounted for $13.5 billion of the food stamps sales in 2013.

Walmart spokesman described the report as inaccurate and misleading, referring to its use of extrapolated data in the public assistance programs eligibility requirements vary from state to state.

He also stated that 99% of the associate earn above minimum wage. And also, stated the average hourly wage for both full and part-time is an average of $11.83 per hour.

Also of note other large retail chains have been the focus of similar reports in recent months. In October study showed that the American fast food industry outsourced a combined $7 billion in annual labor cost to taxpayers. McDonald’s alone accounted for $1.2 billion of that outlay.

Others mentioned were Yum Brands, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC and all their subsidiaries costing around $648 million in benefit programs for workers each year.