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Amazon isn't replacing humans with robots at its warehouses... yet.

6 months ago by James Mattone in People, Tech

Reuters recently reported how Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN) is rolling out more robots in warehouses that are specifically designed to pack orders. Reuters sources say these robots will lead to job losses.

However, the company doesn't seem to be slowing human hiring at fulfillment centers just yet.

Right now, Amazon has the most job listings for Warehouse and Fulfillment related positions in three years, as it continues to fill in the warehouses opened due to rapid expansion.

This uptick in jobs is due to a boom in overseas hires, but still, job openings in the United States are at a year-to-date high and at a level seen back in the fall of 2018.

Among the hundreds of job openings in the United States, Seattle emerges as the number one city. The other cities listed are locations for warehouses, fulfillment centers, and other areas where Amazon handles shipping and logistics around the country. That group includes Woodside in Queens, NY, the site of a future Amazon fulfillment center.

Looking at the most common job titles across all cities (on May 9) does show a peculiar distribution for what Amazon is looking for across all these cities. Job openings for Warehouse Team Members — whose job might be to pack products into boxes — is less than that of Delivery Associates and assorted managers. 

Title

Number of Openings (May 9)

Seasonal Delivery Associate

50

Shift Manager, Logistics

27

Area Manager, Delivery Operations

24

Area Manager - Military Veterans and Spouses Encouraged

21

Part Time Shift Assistant

20

Full Time Shift Assistant

19

Operations Manager - Military Veterans and Spouses Encouraged

19

Warehouse/Shopper Team Member (Seasonal, Part-Time, Full-Time, Flexible Hours)

18

Area Manager

13

Warehouse/Shopper Team Member (Seasonal, Part-Time, Flexible Hours)

11

Warehouse Team Member (Part-Time, Full-Time, Flexible Hours)

10

Warehouse Team Member (Seasonal, Part-Time, Full-Time, Flexible Hours)

10

What's more peculiar is the trend for Warehouse Team Members over time. Right now, Amazon is technically in a peak for team member hires, yet the number of openings it has is lower than the number of openings in September.

The fall spike could be the result of a need for seasonal workers. Then again, with Prime Day 2019 expecting to happen sometime this summer, Amazon is gearing up for seasonal hires once again, as seen in the raw data. Does Amazon need less seasonal workers for Prime Day than the Holiday season? That's a plausible argument, but in the context of it adding more robots to its warehouses, the softer spike is definitely something worth taking a second look at.

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James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, mainly covering video games, food, and tech news, but not afraid to head into Sephora or beauty brands if need be...

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