Good news and bad news is being reported on the jobs front, with Amazon announcing Thursday that it plans to hire 100,000 new employees in the next 18 months just as brick-and-mortar retail chains such as Macy’s, Sears and Walmart are cutting jobs at an even faster rate.
The New York Times reports that the Amazon hires will include “highly paid engineers and software developers in addition to hourly warehouse workers.”
The report quotes Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard who studies labor and technological change, saying: “There are huge benefits to consumers from Amazon. But the workers they are hiring aren’t the same ones being laid off.”
The Times adds: “Even since New Year’s Day, the traditional retail sector has absorbed more blows. Macy’s said last week that it would eliminate 10,000 positions, and the Limited announced this week that it would close all 250 of its stores, eliminating 4,000 jobs.”
The report also notes: “The Amazon announcement comes as the company is introducing automation that could one day cost jobs. It uses robots in many of its warehouses, though it says they work in conjunction with people instead of replacing them.”