Retail trade is one of the biggest job sectors in America, and the vast majority of those workers still clock in at brick-and-mortar stores. But the big growth is coming from e-commerce, which happens to pay a lot better, too.
This is a promising development for retail workers who worry about thousands of store closings and the march of automation. E-commerce also offers a potential antidote to years of low productivity growth and income stagnation.
“If this new pattern continues, it will raise real wages across the economy and rejuvenate the middle class,” said a report by economist Michael Mandel of the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington.
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