November 1, 2019

With Halloween done and the pet costumes put into storage, retailers across the country are now preparing for a surge of holiday sales that will arrive at the end of the month. During this vital sales period, companies can see their online orders grow tenfold as consumers grab all sorts of items for the holidays. As a result, many retailers and logistics firms bring on seasonal workers to provide additional assistance for this busy period. 

Along with hiring lots Continue reading

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October 17, 2019

With nearly 2 million employees on the payroll, McDonald’s is constantly hiring new people to work at its thousands of locations across the globe. So in recent years the fast food giant has streamlined its hiring process to accommodate online applicants, who tend to be younger and applying for their first jobs. Then last month, McDonald’s took this concept to the next level by announcing that people can now apply for jobs using voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa or Google Continue reading

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August 9, 2019

For 106 consecutive months, the U.S. labor market has added jobs. But even though there’s plenty of work to go around, much of it is low-paying since wages have not grown as fast as expected. This video looks at the some of the factors contributing to low wage growth in the U.S., such as automation and the decline of unions. 

Questions:

  1. How has the rise of automation contributed to low wage growth?
  2. Do you think wage growth would be Continue reading
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July 16, 2019

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for nurses will grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. With nurses in such high demand, hospitals around the country are on a near constant search for qualified professionals. Sometimes, though, there simply aren’t enough candidates available to meet demand. This can lead to hospital staffing shortages, which require nurses to work longer hours and perform more tasks.

That’s where a robot named Moxi comes in. Developed by Continue reading

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March 5, 2019

A few weeks ago, PepsiCo announced the annual results of what turned out to be a very profitable year. The beverage and snack giant saw revenues increase 1.8 percent to a whopping $64.4 billion, resulting in a profit of $12.6 billion. On top of this 158 percent increase in annual profit, Pepsi also predicted organic growth at a rate of 4 percent for the coming fiscal year.

But while the company had plenty of good news in store for investors, Continue reading

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February 28, 2019

Managing the “last mile” of a product’s journey from the warehouse to its destination is one of the most complicated aspects of shipping and logistics. This final step accounts for as much as half of all delivery costs due to unpredictable factors like traffic jams, route distances, and the need to make multiple stops. That’s why this week FedEx revealed its new SameDay Bot, an autonomous machine that cuts costs by delivering products directly to the customer’s door.

Developed in Continue reading

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January 10, 2019

For thousands of years, people have been baking bread by largely following the same procedure: dough is kneaded into a loaf and then placed in a hot oven until it’s done. And while this may sound simple enough, baking a perfect loaf of bread actually requires a great deal of skill and years of experience. That is unless you have a BreadBot, a new machine that automates nearly every aspect of the baking process.

Recently unveiled at the annual Consumer Continue reading

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November 1, 2018

With about 6,700 hotels operating under 30 brands in more than a hundred countries, Marriott International is by far the world’s largest hotel chain. Last year the company earned profits totaling $1.37 billion as guests from around the globe checked in and out of properties like Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton, and Westin. Over the last few weeks, however, 23 hotels owned by Marriott have not been operating as usual. That’s because since October 8th the employees at these locations have been on Continue reading

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October 16, 2018

The Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo has steadily grown into an international brand known for its inexpensive but stylish designs. As you might expect, maintaining this image requires the company to strike a delicate balance between creating interesting products and keeping costs low. That’s why Uniqlo recently announced that robots have replaced 90 percent of the staff at one of its warehouses.

Along with drastically cutting costs, the company’s newly automated warehouse will also be able to operate 24 hours a Continue reading

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September 21, 2018

Depending on which way you look at it, the rise of automated labor in the workplace can serve as either a source of optimism or anxiety. On the pro side of the argument, robotic workers will be highly efficient and more willing to perform monotonous tasks than their human counterparts. Of course, matters of “efficiency” don’t mean much to people who could lose their jobs because of automation. And according to a new study published by the World Economic Forum, Continue reading

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