Thursday, August 18, 2016

Amazon and other internet stores are so successful that retailers don’t need as many workers as they used to

Marketwatch reports:
Internet sellers such as Amazon, eBay and Newegg are so good at what they do that there are 1.2 million fewer people working in the retail industry now than would be the case if online stores didn’t exist, an analysis suggests.

J.P. Morgan analyst Michael Feroli says online sellers are so much more productive at selling goods than brick-and-mortar stores that there’s less need for workers. Sales revenue per online employee is more than four times as high as what a traditional retail worker generates: $1,267,000 vs. $279,000.

That’s not to say online shopping has destroyed 1.2 million jobs, Feroli notes. It just means that the shift toward internet sales has boosted productivity to the point that companies can get by with fewer employees. Productivity among online sellers surged 6% in 2015, according to government data. Overall U.S. productivity rose a tepid 0.8% last year.

Some of those productivity gains have flowed to some employees at online sites. Hourly pay of online retail employees averaged $27.14 in June, well above the retail industry average of $17.92. Internet stores pay some of the highest wages in the retail space.
Productivity .