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

Comments (37)
No. 1-25

What is a median CEO really worth????


Bosses sure are worth every penny...or so they think.


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

Wally is paying better than double what the Kohl’s employee is making. That is a closer match of job duties than Mickey Dee workers.


Other than looking for controversial topics to generate interest on your blog (which I completely understand), what are you implying Mish? Do you want the government to limit CEO pay? Or perhaps you are advocating for strong unions to provide bargaining leverage for the average employee? Or do you believe that the free market will solve this on its own? Just wondering what your personal position is on this topic.


CEO pay is a result of poor corporate governance. Corporate boards get taken over by CEOs and represent the CEO instead of shareholders. Secondly, there are a number of companies that track employee pay in different job types in every market in the country. When someone leaves our company, we can, through a subscription, go online and see what other businesses in the community are paying for that job. We always open the job on the lower end of that range. Everyone else does to. It's how we keep from competing on pay and driving up wages. It's been extremely effective.