AI is leading to loss of jobs
By Jalyn Jefferson & Brianna Williams
Recently around the U.S., there has been an increase in self check-outs throughout the stores. As technology advances, jobs that don’t require more than a high school education are becoming redundant. Now there are lots of mixed emotions on whether these self check-outs are a positive or negative addition to our community.
According to a 2019 article by bizjournals.com, the U.S. has lost at least 11,000 retail jobs since 2017. Some of this job loss is related to automated services like self-checkout.
“I’m iffy because it takes away jobs but they do help make the lines go faster in stores,” said Gayle Fake, OHS Secretary. “I mean they took away the people who used to pump gas and replaced it with self pumps and we don’t have a problem with that.”
A lot of people don’t mind the self check-out lines. VAAMP sophomore Jordan Austin said, “I think it’s helping the company because without self check-out there would be way longer lines”.
ESA junior Yakira Figg said, “It’s advancing the company and helping customer traffic in stores.”
PE coach Andy Spinola said “I like it because it helps me get out of the store faster but I see your point on how it takes away jobs.”
These people don’t have a problem with self check-out so why should people be concerned about this controversial issue?
Well last month, the percentage of people in the US who are unemployed was 3.6%. Now there are many reasons that people could be unemployed but we can’t help to think that because jobs as simple as check-out are being replaced by machines and robots.
In almost every presidential campaign, jobs are the main thing the candidates promise. Yet according to a 2019 article by MarketWatch, 30 million U.S. workers will lose their jobs due to artificial intelligence. This is a way bigger issue and could really impact our economy.
LSJ sophomore Jahkai Gupton said “Taking away jobs is gonna make it harder for people to make a living for themselves.”
He’s not wrong because no jobs mean no money. Without money, people have a harder time providing for themselves. But on top of that, they won’t have extra money to spend in stores meaning that companies lose major business. We have to figure out a way to protect both the company and the consumer.
When we asked him how he felt about this, OHS Resource Specialist Payton Carter said “Automation is the wave of the future, society has to adapt but it is without a doubt taking away traditional jobs, but there are other jobs people could do like putting power lines underground to stop fires, that’s something that robots can’t do.”
No matter how anyone feels personally the facts are all there, sure it’s benefiting companies, and sure it’s taking away jobs but in the end, both parties are going to suffer.
If you share our belief that we should be preserving low-skill jobs to save our economy, than maybe wait that extra minute in line. Is your need for self check-out really that important if it means your economy suffers in the long run?