Robots rushed to fill jobs people didn’t want. What happens if a recession occurs?

Amazon automation in action.

Amazon will soon deploy a Proteus bot to fulfillment and sort centers.


What is the retail condition and E-Commerce? When it comes to order fulfillment, it’s clearly gone into bots, and there’s no going back.

This is the new conclusion Industry Status a report Berkshire Gray. The reason will be familiar to those who have tracked industries like durable goods manufacturing, agriculture, and commercial trucking: a new generation of workers who don’t want jobs with low wages, low stability, and great burnout. While this can be framed through a number of lenses (the one that always makes me chuckle is “They’re lazy!”), the indisputable result is a major shift toward automation, specifically robots.

also: Urbanization is driving the new demand for construction robots

“Labour issues across industries remain fluctuating, but unlike the temporary shortages seen in other industries, continued e-commerce growth and shifts in intergenerational hiring preferences uniquely affect the fulfillment industry and are expected to lead to long-term labor shortages that will only lead to Doubling “In addition to compensation strategies, companies need to use bot automation to stay ahead of this demographic shift,” said Steve Johnson, President and COO of Berkshire Gray “in the coming years.” Not only is it a huge magnet for young talent due to the increased security and specialized skills it enables, but it is also a game-changer in terms of cost reduction, productivity and return on investment.”

also: Yes, the bots have taken over (so why shouldn’t we care?)

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of CEOs who responded to Berkshire believe bot automation is essential. This is partly driven by changing business dynamics and partly by consumer trends putting pressure on online retailers. For example, free returns are becoming the norm, with a similar percentage of executives (72%) believing that they will lose customers if they do not provide them. Add to this the demand for increased delivery speeds and a significant increase in rates of return (80% of CEOs saw an increase that required an increase in staff), and it’s clear that retailers are in some kind of trap: they can’t hire easily and simultaneously need to cut costs and increase efficiency. .

These, friends, are fertile conditions for robots. There has been a massive increase in the number of CEOs who believe automation is now the norm in fulfillment (growth by about 43% since 2019). Among those using bots, almost all (85%) will invest more in automation.

also: No really, robots are about to take a lot of jobs

Here’s why this is so important to the consumer: In the short term, it will provide comfort and convenience that has grown in demand so quickly. However, in the long run, no one has a clue about the increase in automation in sectors as diverse as warehousing, Fast foodConstruction and industrialization will affect the blue-collar sector of the national economy which in modern times has always employed a large number of low-paid workers.

Optimists argue that increased productivity due to automation will lead to new opportunities, but this only works in a relatively fair market, not one where abundance tends to accumulate at the top. With the country facing possible RecessionHowever, the growing shortage of low-wage jobs may soon catch up to the strength that labor market workers have enjoyed for several years. Automation that hatches in relatively sunny times can create a real predicament in the turbulent times ahead.

also: How to get a job in a recession

In a way, there is general agreement that e-commerce will continue to grow at a record pace. The market is set to Increase from $3.3 trillion to $5.3 trillion by 2026.

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