Empty Walmart Shelves Show The Biggest Problem With The U.S. Economy

Ashley Lutz
April 2, 2013

Walmart customers across the country are complaining that many stores have trouble keeping items stocked. 

This is being reported by Renee Dudley at Bloomberg News, who notes that the workforce has fallen by 120,000 since 2008, and that in the same time the company has added several hundred locations.

This trend at Walmart represents a bigger problem with the U.S. economy.

Companies have expanded a lot since the downturn, but haven't hired that many additional workers, leading to high unemployment.

Bloomberg News reportedly received thousands of emails about the empty shelves at Walmart.

Dudley interviewed Bob Shank, a Tucson, Arizona man who said his local store had "bare shelves" with "yards of empty spaces" and "few employees visible, especially at the check-out counters." 

Another customer from Illinois said that Walmart founder Sam Walton  "must be rolling over in his grave to see what has become of his business." 

Wall Street analyst Colin McGranahan told Dudley that Walmart's problems can be attributed to a shortage of employees. 

Walmart is the largest U.S. employer, with a workforce of 1.3 million. 

In a statement to Bloomberg, Walmart denied that the story is accurate. 

"The premise of this story, which is based on the comments of a handful of people, is inaccurate and not representative of what is happening in our stores across the country," a spokeswoman said. 

Even if the story isn't true, just this chart alone, from Bloomberg, reveals the problem with the U.S. economy: Corporate growth is not translating into more employment.



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