Walmart CEO makes 1,888 Times Median Worker Take Home Pay: Anyone See a Problem?

Walmart ranks 10th in CEO to median take-home pay.

How Does Your Pay Stack Up?

Public firms in the S&P 500 now generally disclose how much they pay employees.

The median wage across all the groups in the feature image is about $69,000.

The median pay for the consumer group alone is about $35,000.

For an interactive graph that shows where you stand, please see How Does Your Pay Stack Up?

Walmart CEO vs Median Take Home Pay

The Wall Street Journal has a seemingly shocking headline: At Walmart, the CEO Makes 1,188 Times as Much as the Median Worker.

Walmart is one of the largest private employers with more than 2.3 million employees world-wide and around 1.5 million in the U.S. The figures include both full-time and part-time workers.

Walmart disclosed the pay ratio as part of a broader requirement of the postcrisis Dodd-Frank law that went into effect this year.

Among the 18 retailers that have reported this data so far, Walmart’s median pay falls near the middle. By comparison, Inc.’s median worker earns $28,446, while Gap employees fall at the bottom of the group at $5,375.

Retail-industry officials argue that median-pay and pay-ratio figures for their industry shouldn’t be compared with others because the widespread use of part-time and seasonal workers makes both look more extreme. The rules for calculating the figures don’t allow companies to annualize most pay figures.

Bottom Ten

Inability to annualize pay and factor in part-time employees makes the above chart nearly meaningless.

For all the bashing of Walmart, $19,177 seems like a reasonable number, especially the way it's calculated.

The median Walmart employee makes 273% of the median McDonald's employee.

But what is the median McDonald's employee really worth?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

No. 1-25

For a company the size of Walmart, whether the one CEO makes $20 or $20million, is no more than a great big roundoff. He’s making $10 for each employee working there. Very few workers kick that little up to the dude upstairs. May as well pay the guy enough so that he tells his secretary to screen headhunter calls.

While with 2+ million workers, every penny/hour for the median guy, quickly starts adding up to something meaningful. Doubly so at a place like Walmart, where every single store is accounted for as an independent profit center; hence need to keep an eye on costs at much finer granularity than at the level of the entire corporation.

From a Walmart worker’s POV, they pay plenty more than the $10 that goes to the CEO in taxes. And are, at the current rate, being debased out of 1000-2000 a year by direct printing. A few thousands in purely regulatorily imposed overcharges for medical care. Another pile to sustain the nonsense that is zoning laws preventing housing from being reasonable. Some 1000s in overpriced “education” for their kids. Some more for subsidizing the FIRE racketeers via mandated “insurance,” as well as commissions to idiots hawking “investments” that only exists at all on account of the above mentioned persistent debasement etc., etc. …..So it’s not as if whatever the Walmart CEO happens to be making, is some sort of grand contributor to the median employee’s economic woes. Blow away the rest of the leeches mentioned, replace them with a suitable bomb crater, and the median Walmart’er would be doing perfectly fine, regardless of what the CEO took home.


Whatever the number is, regardless whether it is being properly calculated, wealth is concentrating more and more to the top 1%, creating an extreme condition, which is going to backfire. Extremes lead to opposite extremes.


It pays to major in computer science. Facebook employee median salary is $240,000. And that is just salary, not including stock benefits. That means 50% of the employees at Facebook make OVER $240k a year.


Yeah, like the all children in Lake Wobegon :)