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Slow employment growth is anticipated for stock clerks through 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Increased automation and other productivity improvements that enable clerks to handle more stock will lead to fewer in opportunities in some industries, such as manufacturing and wholesale trade, which are making the greatest use of automation. In addition to computerized inventory control systems, firms in these industries are expected to rely more on sophisticated conveyor belts, automatic high stackers to store and retrieve goods, radio frequency identification tags (which allow clerks to count or find an item or inventory more quickly than in the past), and automatic guided vehicles that are battery-powered and driverless. Sales-floor stock clerks in grocery stores and department stores will probably be less affected by automation than clerks employed in manufacturing, as most of their work is difficult to automate.
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