WASHINGTON –On May 8th, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, will hold a Member roundtable exploring how automation will impact retail jobs, especially for workers of color. Members are invited to hear from experts about which jobs are at-risk, how soon the technologies will be adopted, and the types of new jobs that will emerge.
WHO: Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education & the Workforce
Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies
Jana Barresi, Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs, Walmart
Dr. Michael Mandel, Chief Economic Strategist, Progressive Policy Institute
Ademola Oyefeso, International Vice President, Legislative and Political Action Director, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
WHAT: Member roundtable exploring the disparate economic impact of automation in the retail sector on workers of color.
BACKGROUND: The retail sector is the largest employer in the United States and is rapidly transforming with the emergence of e-commerce and shifting shopping patterns. The workers expected to be hardest hit by job losses are those who can least afford it. An Obama White House study found that, “the jobs that are threatened by automation are highly concentrated among lower-paid, lower-skilled, and less-educated workers.” The Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies recently released this report showing that over 5 percent of both Latino workers and Black workers in the U.S. are concentrated in just two jobs at high risk to automation—retail salespersons and cashiers.