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Monday, June 7, 2010

Alderman Moore: Walmart Creates No Jobs

Alderman Joe Moore represents the 49th ward in Chicago and he made this statement about Walmart at a gathering in front of a progressive group.

Now, something similar to this was said in a study about a year ago. The University of Illinois at Chicago did a study of the only Walmart in Chicago and said that job creation was negligible. In response, Walmart commissioned Mari Gallagher to do her own study. Gallagher found that the original study was flawed. For instance, the original study found that Walmart job gains were off set by the job losses from other retailers that left.

Gallagher found that UIC didn't take into account the stores that replaced these retailers and the jobs that brought.

Alderman Moore claims that Walmart doesn't make anything and so it doesn't create jobs. Of course, by this logic, no retailers ever create jobs. There are a lot of companies involved in the business process and simply making the underlying product is not the only way to create jobs.

The Sun Times has an editorial about all this today.

The study's anti-Wal-Mart conclusions don't add up.
On Thursday, the City Council Zoning Committee, short on votes, once again deferred a vote on a massive development on the Far South Side that would include Chicago's second Wal-Mart, giving Chicagoans more time to analyze this study, as well as all things Wal-Mart.
First, let's take a careful look -- and quickly dismiss -- this flawed study by researchers at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Though pegged as the first urban analysis of Wal-Mart's impact on local businesses and jobs, the study turns out to be little more than a cheap shot at Wal-Mart.
The underlying data are weak, even if the researchers' forceful conclusions are not.
In other words, their conclusions are no conclusions at all.
It all comes as the proposed Walmart in Pullman Park continues to work its way through the legislature and continues to draw controversy.

To supporters, the 148,000-square-foot store would be a much-needed source of jobs in an area of the city plagued by poverty and unemployment, an oasis in a food desert without a major supermarket and a first step toward revitalizing the Ninth Ward, which all involved agree has seen shopping and dining options dwindle over the past few decades.
The project’s opponents argue that Walmart would pay low wages while doing its best to deny its employees the right to unionize. They charge that the 24-hour superstore would drive out of businessthe few neighboring retailers that do exist and make the revitalization of the area’s local shopping districts that much more unlikely.
At its May 19 meeting, the Pullman Civic Organization asked its membership whether to support the project. The vote was tied 19-19, with the tie broken by the group’s president, Drew Sexton, who strongly supports the project.

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