Online shopping accounts for only 8.4 percent of all retail sales in the United States, but it has had an outsize effect on the retail workforce. The hundreds of thousands of jobs created by new online firms have not absorbed the job losses at traditional retailers. At the same time, the new jobs are concentrated in a handful of large cities and tech hubs.
Online retailers can sell more products with fewer workers than traditional stores. Nearly three-quarters of e-commerce firms have four or fewer employees. Even though online companies pay higher average wages to their workers, they have a bigger impact on retail sales than on retail employment.
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