– The New York Times
Walmart has spent $2.7 billion on training and raising wages for 1.2 million of its store workers over the past two years — an investment that reflects the pressures the company faces in the retail industry. Fighting Amazon for sales, Walmart is trying to make its stores more pleasant places to shop. That requires a well-trained work force with a sense of purpose and self-worth, qualities that can be difficult to nurture in lower-wage workers. But it’s not clear whether all this training is teaching workers valuable skills that could enable them to move into the middle class, or whether it is mostly making them better Walmart employees.
– The Wall Street Journal
Never before in America has so much retail square footage been devoted to selling food — and it is too much. A massive build-out by retailers has left the country piled up with grocery shelves as consumers are shifting from big weekly shopping trips to more snacking and to-go meals. The mismatch has flattened retail sales and leaves the industry vulnerable to a wave of closures that some executives, bankers and industry experts think is coming soon.
– The Atlantic
Restaurant jobs are on fire in 2017, growing faster than health care, construction, or manufacturing. The Atlantic examines if this is good or bad for the American economy.
There is widespread concern these days that robots and automation will soon be permeating much of the American workforce. Some recent studies add to these fears, predicting sizable job displacement from numerous forms of automation and artificial intelligence in virtually all corners of the economy. But just as automation will alter industries differently, its effects will be much more intensive in some regional economies. Governing explores here.