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
- It’s certainly shifting jobs out of traditional retail and into e-commerce
- 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%
- Might say – OK – with that 334% gain in e-commerce, they have more than compensated for drop in traditional retail jobs
- But not – translated to numbers, 178,000 e-commerce jobs have been added, while 448,000 department stores jobs have been cut
- Reason – e-commerce is less labor intensive
- But upside – e-commerce jobs pay more than traditional retail jobs
- So, a tradeoff
- I’m MW
Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension.