RFID Will Impact Many Jobs… But In A Good Way

from the big-headline dept

If you want to make a big splash with a research report about a new technology, you talk about how many jobs people will lose. The problem, of course, is that many new technologies that impact jobs often open up new opportunities. So, it’s no surprise that the headline to this article about a new study on the impact of RFID technology is ambiguous in a way to make you think that people are going to lose jobs: “RFID to affect four million jobs.” Sure, that can be interpreted in many ways, but the obvious intent is to get people up in arms over jobs lost… But, instead, the details show that, for the most part, RFID should create many new, better jobs allowing people to migrate from “mundane” positions to “more value added” jobs. The headline isn’t lying, but the implication is that any headline that talks about “jobs affected” will be talking about “jobs lost.”

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Comments on “RFID Will Impact Many Jobs… But In A Good Way”

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Cyke says:

Re: Re: Re: Valued added is a buzz word

The only new jobs I see are in the manufacturing of the chips. Of course this will probably be taking place in some third world country, not in the US. There are already people in those logistics positions that you speak of. All that will change will be their job duties, not new jobs created. It’s the thousands of tellers and stockers who will lose out. The only difference here is that these are low paying jobs anyway, so once THEY have to resort to McDonalds to make a living, they won’t be out much money.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I absolutely agree

Of course, some new RFID-related jobs will be created but just think about how many grocery clerks, retail sales people, and others will no longer be necessary because RFID will eventually allow people to purchase things simply by picking them up and walking out of the store. Big companies like WalMart will realize huge gains.

CT says:

What jobs exactly?

The people who work at WalMart stocking shelves are at the end of their rope already. They took those jobs because they have no useful skills and no real prospects for getting any.

This is the point when the optimists trot out the example of ditchdiggers put out of work by steamshovels; didn’t they get other jobs? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think actual studies exist. But there were any number of other low-skill jobs available at the turn of the nineteenth century. In case you hadn’t noticed, those jobs by and large don’t exist anymore. Or, they’re being done by imported labor with a different wage standard than the one we’re used to.

Walmart doesn’t have any “value-added” jobs. Walmart (like every other large corporation) adds value by subtracting labor costs. All we really know is that, in the past, people have all found something else to do and get paid for it. Eventually. Of course, that was before we had ten million illegal aliens working in our country for next to nothing already, as well as global competition for any kind of “knowledge worker” job…

So you can read a completely unsupported statement about all the fine jobs waiting for these poor people if you like. Why not roll over and go back to sleep?

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