Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Amazon Is Hurting Retail—But It’s Women Losing the Jobs

December 19, 2017

Brick-and-mortar retail job numbers have been on a downward trend in the U.S., but the losses have not affected both genders equally. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released a report Monday showing that the decline has been absorbed almost completely by women.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from November 2016 to November 2017, women lost 129,000 jobs in retail trade. Men, on the other hand, gained 106,000 retail jobs. Why are so many jobs changing hands in such a short period? It’s mostly a function of the relentless pace of automation, which is consuming retail jobs as large companies like Amazon grow at the expense of traditional shops.

But that doesn’t account for the gender imbalance. In the last year, women went from making up 64 percent of general-merchandise store positions to 60 percent.

Observers are befuddled: in a statement released with the findings, IWPR president Heidi Hartmann emphasized that the organization does not know what’s behind the trend. She did speculate, however, that women could be leaving behind lower-paying retail jobs to enter higher-paying industries. Another possibility is that sales are doing better in the retail sectors that men are more likely to work in, like car or furniture sales.

As we have said before, positions in e-commerce and fulfillment have been created even as retail jobs are lost. So it’s not enough to simply look at one sector and fret. The same forces that are causing turbulence in the retail industry are actually offsetting many of those losses with job growth elsewhere.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.