Amazon Hiring Fewer People for Holiday Season as Robot Use Increases

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The holidays are synonymous with the busy shopping season, and businesses often tend to hire additional workforce to aid with the heavy demand. Now, according to CNBC, Amazon is reversing that trend for this holiday season, and instead of temporary hires, the company is turning to more robots.

Citi analyst Mark May revealed the news to CNBC‘s TV show Squawk Alley last Friday, “We’ve seen an acceleration in the use of robots within their fulfillment centers and that has corresponded with fewer and fewer workers that they’re hiring around the holidays.”

Mark May explained that the implementation of robots to its warehouses “are making them more efficient,” as this is the “first time on record they’ll actually hire fewer this holiday season than a year ago,” he said. The tech and e-commerce giant is reportedly hiring 100,000 seasonal workers this year, which is 20,000 less than last year.

Additionally, May said that hiring can help analysts predict expense growth at companies, as it “has become an important theme within the internet sector.” Last month, Amazon joined Apple as the second trillion-dollar company.

Amazon also provided statement to CNBC about its holiday hiring plans this season and implementation of a robot workforce, which you can read in its entirety here. An excerpt can be seen below:

“This year, we have 250,000 hourly workers and will be hiring for 100,000 seasonal associates – which shows hiring overall has increased with more of a focus on full-time regular employment in the fulfillment centers…”

“It’s a myth that automation replaces jobs and destroys net job growth. Automation increases productivity and in some cases increases consumer demand, which also creates more jobs. Automation makes the jobs in our fulfillment center more efficient and allows associates to redirect their focus to other tasks. Since the time we started introducing robotics at Amazon in 2012, we have added nearly 300,000 full-time jobs globally. Our teams work alongside more than 100,000 robots at over 26 fulfilment centers worldwide and we are excited to continue increasing the technology we use at our sites while growing our global workforce.”

For more, head on over to CNBC for the full story.

In related news, Amazon’s Alexa-enabled microwave comes with an auto popcorn replenishment function.

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