That helps explain why Amazon.com, despite its worship of technology-driven efficiency, is well on its way to becoming the second-largest employer among Fortune 500 companies, mainly because of jobs in its warehouses. The company has 30,000 robots — but more than 230,000 employees, not counting the temporary staff it hires during the peak holiday period.
At a time when automation stokes anxiety about the future of many jobs, these warehouse workers underscore both the promise and the current limits of automation.
The workers’ presence alongside thousands of orange robots — invented by a company formerly known as Kiva Systems, which Amazon acquired in 2012 — points to a lengthy coexistence in the expanding world of logistics.
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