Monday, June 5, 2017

Business Insider -- A jobs threat worse than mass store closures could fire more than 7 million retail workers

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is not concerned about a new PwC research report indicating more than a third of Americans could lose their jobs to automation by the early 2030s. Mnuchin said robots replacing jobs is “not even on my radar screen.”

Today, nearly half of retail workers are at risk of losing their jobs to robots or other automation technology, according to a Report on Retail Automation conducted by Cornerstone Capital Group.

The report finds up to 7.5 million retail jobs will eventually become extinct. It will leave many retail workers at risk of no jobs and the likelihood of not being able to find a new one. What the report calls “stranded workers.”

Retail workers are already facing an uncertain future. Store closures are accelerating, and almost 90,000 retail workers have lost their jobs since October.

Retailers have announced more than 3,400 store closures so far this year, and it’s expected the number will grow to more than 8,600 before the end of the year. For comparison, 6,163 stores shut down in 2008 — the worst year for closures on record.

Radio Shack announced 1000 store closures due to online shopping, and Sears, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Macy's and others are closing stores in 2017.

The replacement of human workers with robots and other automation is a reality. It will not only impact workers but government and the nation’s economy as well.

It will mean government implementing a basic income system guaranteeing all individuals and families that they have an income sufficient to live on.

And what will CEO’s do when what they produce can not be bought because no one will have the money to pay for their products.

If this trend continues we are looking at a world where money is obsolete, and a new money-less economy will replace capitalism. The sooner we incrementally prepare for that reality the smoother the transition will be.

Mnuchin and the Trump administration have an egregious problem with truth and reality. But they and the world have to face reality if we are going to properly plan for a future absent of work.

Automated ordering machines, like these
at a McDonald’s in Spain, are coming to the United States
as a response to higher minimum wages.
A jobs threat worse than mass store closures could fire more than 7 million retail workers

By Hayley Peterson