While Amazon continues to grow at a pace matched only by its founder’s biceps, a recent study by Quartz found that the company is destroying more jobs than it’s creating.
Using data culled from the US Bureau of Labor, and a variety of other sources, Quartz estimated that Amazon would add 146,000 employees to its roster in 2017, worldwide (almost an entire Rochester, NY), which is a good thing. But, conversely, the number of workers employed by companies that are competing with Amazon “will decline by about [170,000] year-over-year,” making for a 24,000 job deficit.
Those numbers would be merely troubling if Amazon had a commitment to job creation going forward, which, in theory, they do. Only it doesn’t seem to be jobs for people. Quartz found that Amazon has already added 55,000 robots to its workforce this year — up from 45,000 last year — and could add more than 20,000 more by year’s end.
And it’s not like they’re going to stop there. Quartz estimated that robots could represent 20 percent of Amazon’s “total employee base by the end of the year,” while Amazon could represent 20 percent of the “entire US retail industry’s growth in 2017.”
In case the gravity of that last sentence didn’t hit you, I’m going to repeat it: one company represents 20% of the country’s retail growth.
So, yeah. It’s probably time to stop blaming faultless, hard-working immigrants for taking jobs. As Quartz noted, “Amazon’s growing army of robots may seem helpful and benign but they are also highly effective at terminating human retail employees.”
You can read more about it at Quartz.