What Amazon AMZN, -0.06% won't tell us is that every job created at Amazon destroys one or two or three others. What Jeff Bezos doesn't want you to know is that Amazon is going to destroy more American jobs than China ever did.
For the consumer, Amazon has brought lower prices and unimaginable convenience. I can buy almost any consumer product I want just by clicking on my phone or computer — or even easier, by just saying: "Alexa: buy me one" — and it will be shipped to my door within days or even hours for free. I can buy books for my Kindle, or music for my phone instantly. I can watch movies or TV shows on demand.
But for retail workers, Amazon is a grave threat. Just ask the 10,100 workers who are losing their jobs at Macy's. M, -0.76% Or the 4,000 at The Limited. Or the thousands of workers at Sears SHLD, -0.45% and Kmart, which just announced 150 stores will be closing. Or the 125,000 retail workers who've been laid off over the past two years.
Could Amazon actually kill more American jobs than China did? It's quite likely. Economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson have estimated China's manufacturing exports to the U.S. may have cost as many as 2 million jobs.
If Amazon can capture 40% of the GAFO market within five years (as seems likely), about 1.5 million jobs at brick-and-mortar stores could be lost. Add in the jobs Amazon will kill at grocery stores, drugstores, warehouses and delivery services, and the total would be well over 2 million.
And unlike the manufacturing jobs lost to China, which were clustered in a comparatively few counties, those retail jobs are located in every city, town and hamlet in America.