On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney often touts his role at the private equity firm Bain Capital in helping found Staples and Sports Authority and turning around other companies as evidence that he knows how to create jobs. But many of those jobs pay very low wages, Bloomberg News first reported on Tuesday.
Many workers at Staples, Sports Authority, and Domino's Pizza earn wages below the poverty line for a family of three. Sales associates at Staples make an average of $8.49 per hour, and sales associates at Sports Authority make an average of $8.96 per hour, according to Glassdoor.com, a site which tracks wages at 150,000 companies. Altogether, that amounts to less than $19,000 per year. These wages are less than the average in those industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, Romney enriched himself while leading Bain Capital, amassing a fortune of more than $200 million, which translates to roughly $6,400 an hour.
Workers at Domino's and Bright Horizons, which Romney helped turn around at Bain, don't make much either. Delivery drivers at Domino's earn an average of $7.66 per hour, according to Glassdoor.com, which adds up to less than $16,000 per year. Teachers at Bright Horizons make an average of $12.94 per hour, according to Glassdoor.com, amounting to about $27,000 per year.
Romney's record does include middle-class jobs. At Steel Dynamics, a steel company in Indiana that Bain invested in during his tenure, the average wage for steel manufacturing programmers is $51,1441 per year, according to Glassdoor.com.
Romney claims that he created more than 100,000 jobs at Bain Capital. But that figure only highlights recent employment figures at three successful companies -- Staples, Sports Authority, and Domino's -- while leaving out the many jobs that Bain eliminated at other companies and giving Romney undue credit for jobs created after he left Bain in 1999.
During Romney's tenure as chief executive, four out of the 10 top companies that Bain acquired went bankrupt within a few years, according to The Los Angeles Times. Though those firms lost thousands of jobs, Bain investors profited from three out of the four firms that went bankrupt.
A spokesman for Romney told Bloomberg News that his experience at Bain creating jobs at Staples gives him the skills “to focus on job creation and turn around our nation’s faltering economy.”