Working for a dollar store is no bargain
The lowest-price retailers' business model requires keeping labor costs so lean that fast-food workers seem to have it good.
In an American workplace where 4.3 million people labor as retail salespeople – making an average of $25,000 a year -- and an additional 3.3 million work as cashiers, dollar-store workers occupy the low tiers of each of those professions. That tier is steadily growing, however, as the domestic economy has regained just 5.7 million of the 8.7 million jobs shed during the Great Recession. Roughly 65% of those jobs are of the low-wage variety -- even though nearly 60% of all jobs lost during the slump paid middle-income wages or better, according to the National Employment Law Project.
As The Huffington Post points out, the number of dollar stores in the U.S. has roughly doubled over the past decade as cash-strapped consumers seek out ever-cheaper prices. There are now nearly 25,000 nationwide, according to the brokerage firm Sterne Agee. That's approximately five dollar stores in the U.S. for every Wal-Mart (WMT).
Dollar General (DG), Family Dollar (FDO) and Dollar Tree (DLTR) are on pace to open one new store every six hours this year, according to Sterne Agee's analysis, and they now employ more than 220,000 full-time and part-time U.S. workers. Dollar General alone has 90,000 employees.
Those stores play it close to the margins to keep costs down for the typical customers, who make $40,000 a year or less, Dollar Tree management says. When there's a bump in gasoline prices or payroll taxes, both of which Levine cited for soft sales, Family Dollar customers cut back on the extras and stick to necessities. In 2011, for example, groceries made up 70% of all Family Dollar purchases, up from 61% five years earlier.
As a result, managers' quarterly bonuses hinge on keeping stores profitable at minimal cost. Those bonuses are no small deal for managers making average salaries in the mid- to high $30,000s, which is less than half the salary of their counterparts at Wal-Mart, according to salary data from Glassdoor.com.
That means dollar store managers are stingy with the hours they give part-time workers, and they extend their own hours to handle whatever work remains. That has resulted in more than 30 federal wage-and-hour lawsuits filed against the large dollar store chains since 2010.
For the chains, that's built into their business plan. Earlier this year, 6,000 Dollar Tree workers joined a lawsuit against the company, claiming they were required to clock out for breaks but had to continue working unpaid anyway. Female managers sued the company in a class action alleging Dollar Tree systematically underpaid them compared with male counterparts. The case was settled for $19 million last year.
"The number of employment-related class actions filed each year has continued to increase," Dollar General, which had sales of $16 billion last year, wrote in its 2010 annual report.
That's to be expected when those are the retailers of choice in the dollar store belt that stretches from Indiana and Ohio south to the Gulf Coast. West Virginia and Mississippi -- two of the poorest U.S. states -- also have the greatest number of dollar stores per capita, according to an analysis by Martin Prosperity Institute.
It would be certainly less stress.....Imagine, two to a bicycle,
riding tandem to work, sharing lockers, maybe four families
co-opting on an apartment, the kids cozy and asleep in their
closets, after a bowl of nutritious dandelion soup and watered
We musn't worry- there will still be the 1 Percent to carry on,
shouldering the burden for buying that third house, with
the elevators to carry Caddies to the rooftops and snuggle
up on their yacht in the Caymans.
If you want to learn how to do something, work on that. Find someone who is really good at whatever you want to do and convince them to teach you how to do it, even if you have to clean up their office or their yard or run errands for them or whatever to make it happen.
If you want a better job, actually search, find and apply for it, instead of complaining about your life and doing nothing. Try starting your own business. I know a guy who cleans up dog crap in people's yards and he makes 3 times what minimum wage is. I know another guy that removes popcorn ceilings for a living - he makes good money too.
Go back to school. There are plenty of free or cheap classes at the local community college. There are free online classes all over the place that will teach you how to code or build a website or an app. Get your real estate license and start doing that. Learn a trade like carpentry or plumbing or home inspection. Get a CDL or learn how to operate a forklift or heavy equipment.
For crying out loud, we live in the greatest country on earth, where anyone can become anything they want, as long as they are willing to put forth the effort. No other place on earth offers as much opportunity and potential for upward mobility for EVERYONE, as we do. Take advantage of this.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.
Everyone has their own life experiences. I have seven brothers and sisters. Neither of our parents finished high school. But they made sure we understood – no one else - was responsible for our future. If we made poor life decisions we reaped the consequences. Each of us made the sacrifice of time and money to learn a trade or complete a college education; not a liberal arts degree that you can “stand on a street corner and wave the diploma around” but one that will earn you a living. Eight years ago two sisters started their own business. They along with their husbands and children worked day, night, and weekends without vacations. After the third year they turned the corner and their business continues to grow. America is a land of opportunity. If you have two, three, four children before you can financially afford them, or your ten year plan is to live off entitlements, or flip burgers when you are thirty then you probably won’t be self-sufficient or happy. Now, there are bad things that happen to good people who truly need assistance and it seems the systems comes up short. But for the rest of us you can be as successful as you want to be. Each of my brothers and sisters who attended college worked two jobs, mostly minimum wage to pay for tuition, books, labs, and now we all make a comfortable living. We all worked hard, made sacrifices and achieved our goals. Life is hard …. Success is even harder. Now I know a lot of people will disagree with me and say the world owes them a living, my siblings and I are not one of them.
where do they come up with such "fantasy" numbers......the average comsumer makes 40K per year
are they living in some dream world.....this country hasnt recovered from the "housing bubble burst"
we havn't recovered from major job loss.....we havnt recovered from one damn thing....we are hanging on by our fingernails..... most familes live together just to put food on the table....and that food isnt T-BONE STEAKS....milk is almost 5 dollars a gallon...bacon 6 dollars a pound...gas is almost 3.50 a gallon and wages are at min or just above min wage of 7.25 per hr.....how do "they" come up with this figure of 40K per year based on the figures we have been reading all year long......there was a article just a few days ago about job growth....65% of jobs returning to the market were of low pay and part time....of course people are going to go to the dollar store and get ripped off from cheap crap made from china.....need i say more?????????????
Once Obamacare was surprisingly and unexpectedly passed there was the problem of paying for it. Each individual will now have to purchase insurance. Once the lower income people realize that it is not free and they will have to pay for it they will turn on the Democrats and Obama. But wait, why not kill several birds with one stone. First get the 47% percent of low income into entitlement frenzy. Make them fell the world owes them a living. Keep them in the headlines with picket lines and stories of how they did nothing to prepare for a career and yet are owed everything. Raise the minimum wage which will mean the additional income will be used to pay for obamacare. The business owners will be the ones funding obamacare and as payroll taxes increase there is a bonus for the government.
When we attempt to locate first employment we usually give best presentation possible.
We constantly change our dialog, our appearance, our background descriptions to
spotlight ourselves more favorably. After an appropriate of wait of non-interest, we drop
our requirements or increase our flexibility. We continue to apply, we may continue
our training or educational fitness. We'll upgrade appearance, polish our manners and
decrease ego if that's what's required. If still unemployed, and it's six months later
and no one has hired us, we become apprehensive, "What's wrong with me?" we'll
wonder. However, if we've never worked professionally, we know lack of experience
is one BIG major problem. I recall my first job hunting days. They were rough; really,
really rough. I was rough; really rough. After dozens of interviews, hundreds of
applications, I landed my first non-sitter position at 16. After the first week, I felt I'd
outgrown the job! Truth was, I had. Reality was, so what, who the heck did I think
I was wanting more? And, 'they' didn't want more from me either. One week's
on-the-job experience doesn't impress an employer. Most employers don't view
their role as educator or trainer, so it's likely any advancements you'll make will
be from the school of hard knocks.
What skills did I offer? I saw myself as courteous, certainly trainable, smarter than
many I knew, prompt, willing to work minimum but in a more interesting role. About
skills: none at professional peak-grade level; I was dull, inexperienced. If I wanted to
climb the food-chain, I had to acquire professional level skills, secure employer's
reference of my reliability, accuracy, sincerity. I needed 'in-demand occupational
standing', opportunity, contacts and an offer! There's an expression "Don't quit
your day job." To fill my vast amount of leisure time, I returned to school and
pursued a business course -- for three years, four nights weekly. I worked days
which was still unsatisfactory to my ego and income aspirations. Eventually I
found a better-paying, much greater opportunity position with a Fortune 500 firm.
But I had to knock-myself OUT and PROVE I had better skills than other applicants
first, and then I had to keep delivering better performance every day on-the-job.
I had to nurse and guard my reference, watch my sarcasm, convey diplomacy,
and keep my own counsel (my opinions were rarely sought, less much wanted).
LESSON: Continue to re-manufacture yourself with in-demand IMPROVEMENTS
until you're accorded recognition of stature, pay and opportunity. To stay profitable
we must improve, compete and deliver a product suitable to customer's satisfaction.
CEO's are absolute role models for progression. CEO'S can follow a structured
Masters regimen certainly, but in addition, they enhance their marketability with infinite
skill malleability of finessing so tuned it assures success. They do that like a lone
Indian on the plains tracking game - it's called initiative and it usually conveys leadership.
When most others gave-up, the surviving CEO continued to struggle for victory. Guess
who got the job offer? The most prepared usually.
I love these articles lately. Heading into to last November it was all recovery recovery recovery, big gains, unemployment is dropping! You were in fact ridiculed as a hack if you pointed out only shi7 work for shi7 wages were being created.
Now, even the Huff Post, NY Times, and everyone are saying the same things. The only difference is it's the evil corps fault the wages are shi7 now.
There's this thing called "The Labor Commissioner", a very useful tool when you have crap like being required to "donate" time. Not paying employees for time worked is illegal. The thing is, you have to tell the right people. Griping about it on the web, ain't the "right" people.
Once upon a time, I had the extreme pleasure of helping send an employer to jail. Dang, that was fun! Give it go! I promise it is even more satisfying than bitching about it on the web.
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The good news: Bad weather means fewer drivers on the road, and they're going slower than usual. The bad news: It's still dangerous.
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