Obama: We don’t have Bank Tellers, Travel Agents – Fact Check

President Obama in an interview on the ABC program ‘This Week’ claimed that there are no more bank tellers or travel agents due to technological advancements.  He alluded that this is the reason for the stalled economy.

“Technology.  If you go to– a lot of companies now, they’ve eliminated entire occupations because they’re now robotized.  We don’t have travel agents.  We don’t have bank tellers.” – President Barack Obama September 15, 2013 on ABC This Week

First, I am wondering who those people are at my local bank and credit union?  Are those:

Teller returning receiptSecond, I am wondering who that women is that takes my money and plans our vacations and travel?  Seems our travel comes off without a hitch (baggage issues not included.)  I also wonder why we have a human point of contact to the White House travel office when their is an opportunity to travel with the President?

Third, Politisite handled a similar statement by President Obama in 2011.  Truth is that the U.S. Department of Labor says that Bank Tellers are growing at an 6-8 percent clip, not to mention the increase in mechanics who work on ATMs.

Mr. President there are still Travel Agents and Bank Tellers!

Seems the President has some excuse in his pocket to explain stunted economic growth. Now he has gone to recycling old bogus claims.  Guess that is all par of his green initiative.

Are ATMs stealing jobs? From the The Economist

There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.

This got right-of-center bloggers linking gleefully to Bastiat and Hazlitt’s classic debunkings of the hoary fallacy that machines create unemployment, and started a minor Twitter meme mocking the idea that ATMs are taking our jobs. As it happens, theory and reality agree in this case. ATMs have not in fact displaced bank tellers. According to this 2004 Charles Fishman article in Fast Company:

At the dawn of the self-service banking age in 1985, for example, the United States had 60,000 automated teller machines and 485,000 bank tellers. In 2002, the United States had 352,000 ATMs—and 527,000 bank tellers. ATMs notwithstanding, banks do a lot more than they used to and have a lot more branches than they used to.

More recently, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reports there were 600,500 bank tellers in 2008, and the BLS projects this number will grow to 638,000 by 2018. Mr Obama clearly picked a poor example. It’s worth noting that the advent of the ATM also created demand for ATM maintenance workers. According to the BLS, there were 152,900 “computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers”

Via –Technology and unemployment: Are ATMs stealing jobs?


Contrary to the president’s assertion that ATMs contribute to nagging unemployment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that teller jobs would grow about 6 percent from 2008 to 2016.

In addition, NRO’s Jonah Goldberg pointed to statistics indicating expansive growth in banking jobs since the self-service banking era began in 1985: “At the dawn of the self-service banking age in 1985, for example, the United States had 60,000 automated teller machines and 485,000 bank tellers. In 2002, the United States had 352,000 ATMs – and 527,000 bank tellers.”

Adding insult to injury, the ATM Industry Association took a swipe at Obama in an email to the Washington Examiner: “Given these major roles of the ATM, it would be quite irrational to turn the clock back to the 1960s to a time before ATMs.”

Read more:NewsBusters.
About Albert N. Milliron 6991 Articles
Albert Milliron is the founder of Politisite. Milliron has been credentialed by most major news networks for Presidential debates and major Political Parties for political event coverage. Albert maintains relationships with the White House and State Department to provide direct reporting from the Administration’s Press team. Albert is the former Public Relations Chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party in Georgia. He is a former Delegate. Milliron is a veteran of the US Army Medical Department and worked for Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Psychiatry.

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