The Walmart 1 Percent in Ohio


  • Walmart heir and Chairman of the Walmart Board of Directors Rob Walton is an Emeritus Life Trustee at the College of Wooster, 1189 Beall Ave., Wooster, OH 44691; (330) 263-2000



The Walmart 1 Percent’s Influence in Ohio Politics

The Walton family in politics

The Waltons contributed $25,500 to candidates for Congress from Ohio between the 1990 election cycle and 2010. All of it went to Republicans. The Waltons spent another $3,000 in state-level politics over the same time period, with $1,000 going to a Republican and $2,000 going to a state Supreme Court candidate.[1]

Walmart in politics

The Walmart PAC spent $238,250 on Congressional candidates from Ohio over the same time period; 95% went to Republicans. At the state level, Walmart spent $203,843 on Ohio politics, with 93% of that going to Republican candidates or party committees.[2]



Walmart’s Impact on Ohio’s Employment Picture

Impact of Walmart stores on retail and other jobs

Based on data available through Walmart’s website, there were 50,623 Walmart associates in Ohio as of January 31, 2012.

According to a 2006 study, for every retail job created at Walmart, communities lose 1.4 retail jobs.[3] Based on the findings of this study, we estimate that, if Walmart had no stores in Ohio, there would be an additional 20,249 retail jobs in the state.

Impact of Walmart’s China sourcing on jobs

Based on an estimate of Walmart’s share of the U.S.-China trade deficit, we can estimate that Ohio lost an estimated 8,537 jobs as a result of Walmart’s practice of sourcing heavily from China.[4]



Walmart’s Cost to Ohio Taxpayers

Taxpayer subsidies for Walmart

Walmart is the world’s biggest company.[5] But despite its colossal financial resources—the company brought in $444 billion in revenue last year[6]—it’s habitually dipped into public coffers to finance its expansion into almost every corner of the United States.[7] In the absence of centralized information or databases on economic subsidies, Good Jobs First, an economic policy and research non-profit, has done extensive research to document the subsidies Walmart has received, and has published the data on Walmart Subsidy Watch. Here’s what GJF uncovered in Ohio.

Taxpayer healthcare costs

Tens of thousands of Walmart associates and their families qualify for Medicaid and other publicly subsidized care. Indeed, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First, in 22 of 24 states which have disclosed information, Walmart has the largest number of employees or dependents on the public rolls of any employer.[8]

In Ohio: In February 2006 and July 2008 reports, Walmart led the list of Ohio employers with the most workers enrolled in Medicaid; in 2008, 13,141 Walmart associates were Medicaid recipients. In September 2009, state data showed that the number of Ohio Walmart associates on Medicaid had climbed to 15,000.[9]



More Walmart stores coming to Ohio

Here’s a list of Walmart stores planned or rumored to be opening in Ohio:[10]

  • Canton: Supercenter, Feather Ln. facing I-55
  • Eastlake: Supercenter, 33752 Vine St.
  • South Euclid: Supercenter, Warrensville Center Rd. near Cedar Rd.
  • Westerville: Supercenter, Westerville Square plaza on Schrock Rd.


[3] The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets. December, 2006. David Neumark, Junfu Zhang, Stephen Ciccarella.

[4] These numbers are estimates. To arrive at these estimates, we used the report by the Economic Policy Institute that estimated U.S. jobs lost to China by state from 2001-2008.  We then multiplied that number by 9.3%, which is the proportion of the overall U.S.-China trade deficit that EPI estimated to be tied to Walmart. We arrived at that number from this study.

[5] As measured by revenue; “Fortune Global 500 2011: The World’s Biggest Companies – Wal-Mart Stores,”

[6] “Walmart reports Q4 EPS from continuing operations of $1.51; Walmart U.S. delivers positive traffic and positive comp sales in Q4,” press release dated February 21, 2012,

[7] “Shopping for Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth,” by Philip Mattera and Anna Purinton, Good Jobs First, May 2004.

[8] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

[9] “Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First report, version dated January 18, 2012.

[10] Information on planned or rumored stores collected by Making Change at Walmart.