Report: There Are 1.2M Fewer Retail Workers Than There Would Be Without The Internet

Image courtesy of Alan Rappa

What would the retail landscape look like if we didn’t have the Internet and online shopping? No one can say, for sure (unless you know someone who can travel to parallel universes*), but one analyst says there’d be about 1.2 million more people with jobs in retail.

J.P. Morgan analyst Michael Feroli says online sellers like Amazon, eBay, and Newegg are so good at selling and shipping stuff that they don’t need as many human workers, reports MarketWatch. Online workers also bring in a lot more cash: each online worker generates a whopping $1,267,000 in sales revenue sales, compared to $279,000 for traditional workers.

Feroli cautions that this doesn’t mean online shopping has stolen jobs from people, simply that the shift toward e-commerce has boosted productivity so much that companies can get by with fewer workers.

It’s not just the online arena that has changed, jobs wise: similar shifts have happened over the years in areas of the economy like farming and manufacturing, MarketWatch notes, and yet the U.S. is producing more food and manufactured goods than ever.

*Please introduce me to your friend, I have questions.

There are 1.2 million missing retail workers because Amazon’s so good [MarketWatch]