Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson

Derek Thompson is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the media. He is the author of Hit Makers.

A sculpture of the Airbnb logo is pictured.

Airbnb and the Unintended Consequences of 'Disruption'

Tech analysts are prone to predicting utopia or dystopia. They’re worse at imagining the side effects of a firm's success.

The Amazon-ification of Whole Foods

There’s a broader strategy behind two-hour delivery for heirloom tomatoes.

People are pictured inspecting beer.

Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America

Corporate goliaths are taking over the U.S. economy, yet small breweries are thriving. Why?

Registered nurse Tara McCormick demonstrates an infrared thermometer at West Virginia University Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia on September 6, 2017.

Why Nerds and Nurses Are Taking Over the U.S. Economy

A blockbuster report from government economists forecasts the workforce of 2026—a world of robot cashiers, well-paid math nerds, and so (so, so, so) many healthcare workers.

Customer enters Sears store with "Store Closing" signs on windows

Sears Was the Amazon of Its Time—Until It Made Preventable Mistakes

In the middle of the 20th century, Sears accounted for a full percentage point of U.S. GDP. By the early 21st century, it was in steep decline. What happened?

The History of Sears Predicts Nearly Everything Amazon Is Doing

One hundred years ago, a retail giant that shipped millions of products by mail moved swiftly into the brick-and-mortar business, changing it forever. Is that happening again?

Restaurant patrons are pictured.

Restaurant Jobs Are the New Factory Jobs

Food-service jobs are eating the economy. Maybe that’s not a good thing.

Sarah E. Harvey's painting of "Winsted, Connecticut," showing homes and buildings among green hills

What on Earth Is Wrong With Connecticut?

Conservatives say the state has a tax problem. Liberals say it has an inequality problem. What it really has is a city problem.

A woman standing near the fruit isle in a grocery store.

Amazon's Bet on the Future of Commerce

With a plan to buy Whole Foods, the retailer’s $14 billion wager isn’t just about the future of food. It’s about the future of shopping—especially for rich urban consumers.

A girl carries an inflatable tube.

Teenagers Have Stopped Getting Summer Jobs. Why?

Most used to work in July and August. Now the vast majority don’t. Are they being lazy, or strategic?

A package moves along a conveyer belt at Amazon's fulfillment center in DuPont, Washington.

Amazon Makes Its Pitch to Low-Income Shoppers

The retail giant is slashing membership fees for families on federal welfare.

Elon Musk

Is Tesla Really the Future of Cars?

The auto industry’s fate rides on the answers to three unresolved questions: driven or self-driving? Electric or gas? Private or shared?

Signs for a liquidation sale

What's Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?

In the middle of an economic recovery, hundreds of shops and malls are shuttering. The reasons why go far beyond Amazon.

Why Millennials Aren't Buying Houses

Some are putting their careers before babies and homes. Others haven't left home in the first place.

The Economy for Young People Is Still Terrible

The era of the overeducated barista is here to stay. College graduates are still spending more and more years (and money) to get worse and worse entry-level jobs.

The Curse of Segregation

Some cities and neighborhoods are stuck in vicious cycles of poverty while others have a proven track record of turning poorer children into economic success stories.

Millennials: Not So Cheap, After All

For a while, young people were taking public transit and using car-sharing apps instead of buying cars. But now they're heading to the dealership, just like their parents.

Rich People Are Great at Spending Money to Make Their Kids Rich, Too

The poor spend relatively more on what will keep them alive, because they must, and the rich spend more on what will keep them rich, because they can.

Americans Love Big Hot Suburbs

The neighborhoods outside of sunny metro areas are gobbling up the country, just like they were before the Great Recession.

The Richest Cities for Young People: 1980 vs. Today

History often intervenes with extrapolated trends, making it hard to predict what the best cities for young people will be in the future.

Where Did All the Retail Jobs Go?

Since 2007, the private sector has added 2.4 million new jobs. Retail has lost 60,000.