Report says liquor store privatization won't add jobs

Most people already assumed that privatizing state liquor stores would lead to reduced wages for liquor store workers. A new report confirms that assumption, and also offers a more surprising finding: Privatization could lead to fewer jobs, despite the fact that the number of liquor stores in the state would increase from 613 to 1,500. How is that possible?

That will be especially true if a substantial number of the 1,500 retail licenses are held by big-box retailers, supermarkets and drug stores, where the main addition will be shelves and inventory — not clerks.

"If the market is largely served by grocery store chains and big-box retailers, where new wine and liquor products will be assimilated into their current operations, there likely will be a reduction in overall retail employment," the study says.

Scott Kraus has more in The Morning Call. Of course, the main argument for privatization isn't that it will lead to more jobs. It's that the government shouldn't be in the liquor business. But one of the main objections is that middle-class jobs would be eliminated, and the fact that they might not even be directly replaced by an larger number of worse jobs only amplifies that objection.

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