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To Tout Good Jobs, Visit Main Street, Not Amazon

Obama visiting Amazon's Chattanooga distribution center
Obama visiting Amazon's Chattanooga distribution centerPhotograph by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times via Redux

There are more inappropriate venues President Obama could have chosen than Amazon.com’s Chattanooga warehouse for his speech on creating good jobs on Tuesday, but not many.

Amazon is remarkably efficient in terms of employing few people per sales dollar. It employs just 14 employees per $10 million in revenue (PDF) compared to 47 workers the same amount at an average physical store, based on U.S. Census data.