Think of the permanent job losses…
Grocery and retail-
Here is an article from MarketWatch discussing how disruptive competition comes out of nowhere. It uses the proposed AMZN/WFM merger as an example of an out-of-the-blue event that will most likely transform grocery shopping and the grocery industry forever. Here is an article that discusses how the German firm Lidl is embarking on a huge US expansion that may put many traditional grocery store chains out of business.
These new entrants to the grocery industry are using technology, automation, and streamlined processes that will eventually put millions out of work.
Sure, most will adjust and find new jobs, but the technology driving the process is paradigm shifting. I came across more articles that illustrate the drastic changes that have taken place in a number of professions. While investors have made money betting on the winning horse, most are coming out on the losing end.
Taxi Medallion owners and cab drivers-
Here is an article from the New York Post describing the damage that ride sharing has brought upon taxi owners and their drivers. In NYC, a taxi medallion, which cost as much as $1.3 million as recently as 2013, now sells for less than $250,000. Most Medallion owners have been wiped out. Though NYC medallions are the most expensive in the nation, this story is being repeated in every jurisdiction that charges fees and requires licensing to drive a cab.
Hotels and accommodations –
Many of my friends use Airbnb when travelling. They tell me how they can get the type of accommodations that they seek. I wonder what will happen to all of the vast newly-built hotel capacity of the past decade. I think of the jobs that will be lost from within the lodging sector.
Real Estate Agency-
Here is an article titled, The Housing Market Is Ripe for Tech Disruption. The process of buying and selling a home in the U.S. is needlessly inefficient. That will inevitably change. As a Realtor/real estate investor I manage numerous properties for my own portfolio. When I list my properties for rent I skip MLS completely and list it exclusively on Zillow. I get tenants faster and I skip having to fork over commission to my broker and the tenant’s broker. I get the tenant I want.
We have been discussing that many people are not going to be able to adjust quickly enough. Automation and technology are not only transforming industries, but the shift has been so rapid that many workers can no longer keep up. As soon as they acquire new skills they become obsolete in a short time. Many just stop trying to keep up and drop out of the work force.
When it comes to all this automation and permanent loss of jobs I can’t help but think of that Texe Marrs interview I covered on my May 31st podcast. Click here to listen to Texe Marrs’s interview with Jeff Rense.