Notice!Robots could put these 6 million people out of work
Asia Industry Network: In the United States, robots have already taken millions of factory jobs.
The next job to be robbed could be a retail store job.
Between 6 million and 7.5 million existing jobs in the U.S. retail industry are at risk of being displaced over the next decade, according to newly released research from financial services firm Cornerstone Capital Group. This equates to at least 38% of the current workforce of 16 million in the U.S. retail industry. In fact, on a proportional basis, the U.S. retail industry could experience more job losses than manufacturing, the study noted.
That doesn’t mean robots will replace shop assistants chatting with customers in department stores. Instead, expect to see more automated checkout desks in the future, replacing existing cashiers. This change alone will wipe out millions of jobs.
“The cashier is considered one of the most vulnerable jobs in the economy to be automated,” the report said. “Given that about 73 percent of cashiers in the U.S. are currently women, the disappearance of these jobs will hit women particularly hard.”
There will also be fewer sales jobs, as more customers will use in-store smartphones and touch-screen computers to find what they need, said John Wilson, head of research at Cornerstone Capital. There will still be some salespeople in the store, but there will be far fewer than they are now.
Labor-intensive jobs, such as shelf management and inventory control, will also become more efficient with automation, Wilson claims. “You won’t see robots tidying shelves, at least not anytime soon,” he said. “However, advances in technology will reduce the number of people needed for such jobs, and increased efficiency means less human labor is needed to do things. “
The U.S. retail industry is reportedly going through major changes: About 3,300 stores have announced their closures so far this year, according to data released by retail think tank Fung Global Retail & Technology. However, Wilson pointed out that the number of jobs lost due to automation over the next decade will exceed the number of jobs lost due to store closures.
“Store closures are related to overbuilding and e-commerce, but future job losses are really about automation,” he said.
Rising wages are also fueling automation, as governments at the state and municipal levels across the U.S. are announcing higher minimum wages. In addition, several large retailers, including Walmart, have raised wages in an effort to find and retain the workers they need. Competition from e-commerce is also a factor, as it requires retailers to be as efficient as possible to remain competitive.
Amazon already uses a large number of robots in its warehouse fulfillment centers, so that employees spend very little time on each order.
The Links: 3HAC3311-4 JZRCR-XSU02