Jobs Lost Because of Apps

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By Vittorio Hernandez | March 22, 2013 6:27 PM EST

As the world shifts more toward a global economy, information technology plays a bigger role in making things easier for people, from communicating with people on the other continents to more complex tasks such as preparing reports.

However, one weakness of the growing dependence on IT, particularly apps and other software as well as hardware, is the loss of jobs in different industries, usually affecting those with simple and routine tasks often done by people with limited education or work experience.

This results in banks hiring lesser tellers because many of the financial transactions that used to be done over-the-counter are now performed through ATMs or online.

Other job types which were lost or had lesser openings because of apps are loan officers, insurance adjusters, checkout clerks, restaurant order takers, citrus crop inspectors and concierges in malls, reported The Wall Street Journal.

As a result of the downsizing and greater dependence on apps, over one-third of total sales generated by Domino's Pizza come from mobile and online customers, disclosed Patrick Doyle, chief executive of the fast food.

Domino's uses apps developed for the company both by Apple and Google.

Another popular use of new apps is in major retail chains such as Wal-Mart which allows shoppers in some U.S. stores to use the cameras on their mobile phones to scan bar codes or items they purchase, making the beeline to the cashier unnecessary.

With lesser check-out workers needed, other Wal-Mart employees could be redeployed to do other functions such as assist buyers or restock shelves.

In the insurance industry, victims of calamities or accidents could send photos of their damaged homes or wrecked cars via their smartphones, making it unnecessary for the insurer to send a claims adjuster to the disaster or accident site.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who was in India for the launch of an initiative on catalysing start-ups, emphasised the vital role that apps on mobile units will play in boosting business.

"As smartphones are growing, mobile apps are also going to be a big thing and no company can ignore that," The Times of India quoted Mr Schmidt.

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