Automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. A case in point: U.S. retailing
For retailers, the robot apocalypse isn’t a science-fiction movie. As digital giants swallow a growing share of shoppers’ spending, thousands of stores have closed and tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs.
Belinda Duperre, who sold jewelry at Sam’s Club in Fall River, Mass., was one. In early 2016, the struggling store closed.
But Ms. Duperre, a lifelong resident of the once-thriving factory town an hour south of Boston, went from victim of the digital revolution to beneficiary. Amazon.com Inc.announced plans to hire 500 full-time workers for a new 1.2-million square foot fulfillment center on the outskirts of town. “I was just dying, waiting for Amazon to open,” she recalls. She was among the center’s first hires last fall; full-time employment has since soared to about 2,000.