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NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Where are all the salespeople?

September 22, 2010

Sales has long been a great ticket into the middle class or maintaining a comfortable lifestyle, but the occupation has stopped growing, and is now losing numbers.

The positions boomed from the 1950s into the 1980s, and then the headcount leveled off in the past decade before shifting into reverse in 2007, according to an article in the online magazine Slate.com.

Lots of factors are at work. It’s harder to make a living selling cars, and pharmaceutical sales took a hit after Congress threw water on relationships between drug companies and doctors. And then there’s the Internet.

Writer James Ledbetter argues the sea change amounts to another strike at the heart of the middle class as some people in the nation move upscale and others drop into lower-wage occupations. Sales also played a key role in developing the mass consumption of the nation’s consumer-driven economy.

Any thoughts about sales and the people who make a living from it?
 

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