The Positive Impact of the Internet on Unemployment


What would the unemployment numbers look like without the Internet?


This week’s unemployment news was unnerving. The U.S. lost over 20 million jobs in April, and unemployment reached 14.7%. It’s expected to get worse.

As I read the numbers, this question came to mind: what would the unemployment numbers look like without the Internet? Think about it: how many of you are working from home? How many companies are continuing to operate and how many people still have jobs because they can work from anywhere.

Yes, this has been a tragic time for many people who work in retail stores, restaurants, airports, and boutique services like manicuring and haircutting. Yet, for millions of people, the Internet has been a boon.

We know about toy companies whose numbers are up because they sell what people want now: puzzles, games, crafts, and outdoor play and they do it through the Internet.  A recent poll I conducted revealed that one-third of respondents reported their business in April to be up or even with last year. All of that because of e-commerce.

There are also examples of smaller companies that have used the Internet to their advantage. I was told of one toy retailer who, though closed due to quarantine, utilized the Internet, Facebook, delivery, and customer pick up to sell Easter baskets. They got so busy that, eventually, they had to turn customers away.

Whatever is happening to our economy is far better than what would have occurred a few decades ago. I predict that we are going to come out of this economic emergency quicker and with less damage than might have occurred.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply