Leistungen // Laterales Management

how does digitisation create jobs?

When it comes to the debate about digitalisation in Germany there are only optimists and pessimists. The pessimistic side is essentially characterised by fear. After all, in the coming years at least 50% of all current jobs are said to be at risk.

As we know since 2016, fear of job losses decides the elections even in countries with a very good level of employment. This culture of fear also manifests in all the questions about data security. After all, the digital currency is the individual's internet address and the Twitter and Facebook account.

The optimists go by facts rather than emotions: After all every capitalist revolution (steam engine, electricity) has led to a huge improvement in welfare. In the last 200 years, welfare in the western societies adjusted for inflation has multiplied or – to put it in more mundane terms – when it comes to health, nutrition and qualifications, nearly every German is better off than the princess in the 18th century.

Deutsche Post AG is building its biggest parcel centre near Frankfurt

However, historical comparisons are unlikely to be noticed in a post-factual age. Consequently, it's easier with emotions. That's why the enlightened politician is glad when he finds concrete examples of the positive effects of digitalisation. In 2016 every German citizen ordered goods with a value of approximately EUR 1,300 via the internet. This amounts to a volume of over EUR 10 billion per year. Everything which is ordered via Zalando, Amazon und Co. has to be sent by post. The same applies to the 10% to 20% of returns.

For this reason Deutsche Post opened a new gigantic parcel centre in Obertshausen in south Hesse in 2016, which is as big as five football pitches or approximately 37,000 m². Whilst in 2007 approximately 700 million packages were distributed, in 2016 the figure had already increased to 1.1 billion – and this number is increasing. Parcel business at Deutsche Post is growing continuously: 8% per year.

Everyone has a choice

That is why Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the State of Hesse, didn't want to miss the opportunity to inaugurate the parcel centre and to point out that the logistics business is a growth sector which is increasing roughly as fast as the volume of parcels.

The pessimists will draw attention to the fact that this business is a low-wage sector and that internet trading operates to the detriment of inner cities. The optimists will be delighted about newly created jobs and about convenient and transparent shopping. The futurologist Wacker summarises it like this: The only thing I know when I look at these two groups is that the optimists have a good life and the pessimists have a bad life. Everyone has a choice.