NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “E-Commerce and Retailing”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at e-commerce and retailing.  Mike, there’s a large shift occurring in the buying behavior of consumers.  A greater share of sales is now being done using on-line buying – also referred to as e-commerce.   How is this impacting employment opportunities in the retail industry?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. It’s certainly shifting jobs out of traditional retail and into e-commerce
  2. In the last 15 years, number of e-commerce jobs has increased 334%, while traditional retail jobs in – for example – department stores, have fallen 25%
  3. Might say – OK – with that 334% gain in e-commerce, they have more than compensated for drop in traditional retail jobs
  4. But not – translated to numbers, 178,000 e-commerce jobs have been added, while 448,000 department stores jobs have been cut
  5. Reason – e-commerce is less labor intensive
  6. But upside – e-commerce jobs pay more than traditional retail jobs
  7. So, a tradeoff
  8. I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension.