I know: it’s actually a table not a chart. But I don’t want to create a new category. . .
Marlon G. Boarnet et al. [pdf] show that, in the Bay Area, average grocery wages are about 60 percent higher than Wal-Mart wages. Moreover, converting the benefit packages into hourly wage equivalents, total compensation at unionized Bay Area grocery firms rises to about double that typical for Wal-Mart.
The conclusion: low wages and benefits are the high cost for Wal-Mart’s low prices.