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Amazon and the Labor Shortage

The Daily

The New York Times

News, Daily News

4.597.8K Ratings

🗓️ 1 December 2021

⏱️ 27 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript

Summary

Amazon is constantly hiring. Data has shown that the company has had a turnover rate of about 150 percent a year. For the founder, Jeff Bezos, worker retention was not important, and the company built systems that didn’t require skilled workers or extensive training — it could hire and lose people all of the time. Amazon has been able to replenish its work force, but the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of this approach. We explore what the labor shortage has meant for Amazon and the people who work there. Guest: Karen Weise, a technology correspondent, based in Seattle for The New York Times.

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0:00.0

From the New York Times, I'm Sabrina Tevernici. This is The Daily.

0:07.0

Today,

0:11.0

Holiday shopping is going on right now, even as we speak, but he says

0:15.0

As the holiday season begins,

0:17.0

Holiday sales could top $850 billion this year.

0:20.0

Amazon, one of the country's largest retailers,

0:23.0

is setting new records for sales.

0:26.0

But it is also bumping up against a labor shortage.

0:29.0

Fewer employees on the floor, most stores already impacting what's in stores and online.

0:35.0

That is challenging the very premise of its business model.

0:38.0

My colleague, Karen Wise,

0:40.0

on what this moment means for Amazon,

0:43.0

and the people who work there.

0:45.0

It's Wednesday, December 1st.

0:52.0

So Karen, you report on Amazon for the times.

0:55.0

And I wanted to ask you something I've been wondering about lately,

0:58.0

which is we know that there's been this big national labor shortage.

1:03.0

And we also know that there's this supply chain problem.

1:07.0

But when I went on Amazon recently to buy something,

1:10.0

in this case, it was a dog frisbee, I'll be honest.

1:14.0

I was kind of surprised that that frisbee showed up at my door so fast.

1:21.0

My dog, Clementine, did not need it urgently.

...

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