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News Roundup: Airport Security Gets Self-Checkout

November 8, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

Your Next Airport Security Screening Could Have You Doing More Work

The unprecedented crossover event that nobody wants to see could be coming to an airport near you. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is seeking proposals for the self-checkout of security screening. With many travelers already frustrated with the experience, the last thing they need is a new tech platform that will make them do even more work in this process. It’s a project that will give a whole new meaning to “unexpected item in the bagging area.”

Human Touch Missing from Today’s Retail Experience

As American consumers enter the biggest shopping season of the year, many are lamenting the lack of customer service and a human touch. The shifting of work to consumers has made shopping more like “a cumbersome chore than something that should be enjoyable.” No more do parents have an extra hand from friendly store staffers or the community kindness that used to characterize neighborhood groceries. Instead, we’re “losing the ability to talk to each other.”

Cash is Still King with Nearly $2 Trillion in Circulation

Despite all the hype about a cashless society, Americans are using more cash than ever before. In fact, there are almost $1.76 trillion in physical bank notes in circulation. One possible reason? No trust in big banks and other financial institutions – especially since the recent surge in cash usage started after the 2008 financial crisis. The authors of this report warn that to realize the benefits of cashless societies, the bankers and financial regulators have to earn the trust of consumers, which they haven’t done yet.

Number of the Week: 33 Percent

That’s the share of entry-level positions that could be eliminated by automation. Because machines and artificial intelligence struggle with higher-level tasks, they are most likely to eliminate traditional “first jobs” for recent graduates. This would also deny new workers the critical first step to a successful career that these jobs provide. While many will be in retail or similar jobs, about 11 percent are in entry-level white-collar jobs like accounting, legal, finance, human resources, and administration.


Any upcoming stories about the impact of automation on the retail industry and the economy?

If you’re interested in speaking with UFCW, email awhite@www.ufcw.org for a quote, statistics, or interviews with workers in retail and other sectors of the economy.