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Robots taking over retail jobs?

December 17, 2010 |  4:00 pm

Kiosk

California lost 12,900 jobs in the retail industry in November, but consumers spent 6% more than they did a year ago.

So why did the state lose retail jobs when it typically adds them to deal with the increased consumer demand?

Blame it on the robots.

Our colleagues over at Money & Co. say it's possible that retailers have replaced cashiers with machines and store attendants with robots.

As the Times reported in October, automation has been a steady progression since the Industrial Revolution. But with the advances in technology and the rising costs of manual labor, many employers are turning to robots to get work done, replacing administrative assistants with software, cashiers with self-service kiosks and laborers with machines.

RELATED:

Luxury shoppers are making a comeback

Retail sales jump 6% in November

-- W.J. Hennigan

Photo: A customer service video-assist kiosk is seen at a Citibank in New York. Credit: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

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