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Death of the retail job

March 20, 2014

The strongest argument against more immigration is that possibility that it further erodes the bottom end of the job market. Even if more immigration is a net win for workers globally, and is good for the American economy as a whole, it might hurt American workers on the lower rungs of the job ladder. Might. The net effect isn’t as obvious as people think.

And… there is another threat. Bill Gates predicts that automation will wreak havoc in the lower skills job market in the coming decades. Megan McArdle puts some numbers on the decline in retail employment. It’s interesting that retail workers now are “on call” for large amounts of time for which they’re not paid.

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