Retail

The ‘Walmart Effect’: Minus 400,000 U.S. Jobs

December 21, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Washington, DC- Walmart’s importation of Chinese-made goods has likely cost the United States 400,000 jobs since 2001, the Economic Policy Institute estimated in a report released Dec. 9. It said the near-quadrupling of the U.S. trade deficit with China, which rose to $324 billion between 2001 and 2013, has “eliminated or displaced 3.2 million U.S. jobs,” and Walmart’s $49 billion a year in imports accounts for about 15% of that deficit.

It added that the job-loss figures are “conservative,” because the furniture, apparel and textiles, toys, and sporting goods imported by Walmart “are particularly labor-intensive manufacturing industries and support more jobs per $1 billion of imports” than more capital-intensive goods such as cars. “These job losses are particularly destructive,” the EPI study said, because jobs in the manufacturing sector generally pay higher wages and provide better benefits, especially for workers with less than a college education. “Competition with low-wage workers from less-developed countries such as China has driven down wages for workers in U.S. manufacturing and reduced the wages and bargaining power of similar, non-college-educated workers throughout the economy. Read more

December 20, 2015

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