The Walmart Fairy

Want to know when you can be sure the economy is in the turlet? It’s when even Walmart’s not hiring.

According to this item, the company has hired essentially nobody for the last six years. Nobody says it’s since the bankers ripped us off again and the government let them, and all the oceans stopped rising, but that’s where six years back brings us.

Walmart still has 1.4 million employees, and only 20,000 fewer than 2008 — that’s a less than 1.5% cut, over six years. It’s not “essentially nobody” — it’s “negative nobody” if you will.

But surely for Bentonville it’s a rounding error. They lose more employees than that in the cushions of their corporate couches, I’m sure.

Still, with 650 more stores in that same period, it’s an average of 60 fewer “associates” per location.

Other factors matter: Walmart’s opening smaller stores, focusing on grocery, expanding their online sales — so when you go to pick up the item, you’re “stocking the shelves” so to speak.

Not only that, but 60 per location means maybe 1200 hours a week of labor … 160 hours a day. Surely it saved the company $2000 a day per store not to have those 160 hours worked. And again, to go from 394 to 333 per store, we’re not talking about a ton of people.

In other words, they may not need more employees, but fewer shelves.

[And there may be other issues thornier to admit than even a tanking economy.]

Finally, there are two kinds of Walmart fairies: one is the shelf stocker, who magically makes product appear. But there are too few of them to do it properly, and that’s costing Walmart $3 billion.  

That’s what the second kind of fairy calls “an opportunity.”

The second kind if the corporate shill and apologist, who treats the company not hiring people as an odd cosmic inevitability.

Wasn’t it an opportunity six years ago?

Or five or four or three or two or one … ?

How about next year, when it’s unchanged?

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