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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September 11, 2018

When a company releases a notice about a new job opening, it can receive hundreds of responses from potential candidates. And before the detailed portion of the interview process begins, somebody has to call all those people to ask them basic questions about the job and their interest in it. This can be a grueling procedure, as Russian entrepreneurs Alexei Kostarev and Alexander Uraksin know quite well. In 2010 the pair had to screen more than 1,500 candidates over the Continue reading

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July 26, 2018

For the past few years, a number of technology companies have championed self-driving cars as the future of transportation. But recently the concept has received some bad press thanks to a string of accidents involving autonomous vehicles. For instance, last month a Waymo test car made headlines when it ended up in a five-car crash. Meanwhile, several Tesla vehicles in “driver-assist” mode have been involved in collisions, including one fatal incident. As a result, consumers are becoming more wary about Continue reading

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