Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Wal-Mart Employment

Greg Kaza at NRO has a piece on the Wal-Mart employment effect:

The U.S. economy entered its fifth year of expansion in November, with non-farm payroll employment, a broad economic indicator, having expanded by 4.5 million jobs (3.4 percent) since bottoming in May 2003. Wal-Mart, meanwhile, the nation’s largest private employer, has been creating new jobs at a much higher rate. Data obtained from Wal-Mart show the retail giant expanding employment by 15 percent in the same two-and-a-half-year period.
The Wal-Mart employment effect, rarely examined by economists, is so strong that it is counter-cyclical. In other words, the retailer has created new jobs in every recession since it went public in 1971, according to annual reports and monthly employment data. Few publicly traded companies can make such a claim.
Wal-Mart, by contrast, expanded its U.S. workforce by nearly 110,000, or 12 percent, during the eight-month 2001 recession.

Just consider for a moment that Wal-Mart is responsible for about 1% of all jobs in the country. Wags will complain about low wages and lack of a union but the fact is Wal-Mart is a tremendous job-creating engine and jobs, as opposed to lack thereof, is a good thing.

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