Thursday, June 14, 2012

Self-Serve Retail Sales

September 1, 2011
Our Self-Serve Economy

Thanks to the popularity of the Internet and the high price of gasoline, 20% of all retail sales (by dollar amount) can now be made without interacting with a human being. This isn't even counting the new self-checkout lanes at grocery stores.

Here are the updated charts.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

These charts do not bode well for long-term job creation.

Source Data:
U.S. Census: Monthly & Annual Retail Trade
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart


mab said...

And our reward for this amazing productivity:

We got to pay twice as much for a house! I won't even mention the debt that came with this sweet heart deal.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I know! Deals like this only come around once in a century.

Simply put, the creation of automation or labor-saving machinery resulted people losing their jobs. The unintended consequence of automation included less wages formerly earned by people to buy products created by machines.