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Amazon and the Labor Shortage

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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Background reading: 

  • Each year, hundreds of thousands of workers churn through Amazon’s vast mechanism that hires, monitors, disciplines and fires. Amid the pandemic, the already strained system lurched.

For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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