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Since the start of 2021, orders have been placed for about 29,000 robots, an almost 40% increase from the same period last year, Reuters reports.

During a historic “Great Resignation“—where workers are fighting aggressively for higher pay and better working conditions—it sounds like Puzder’s questionable advice has found new resonance in America’s boardrooms. North American companies are buying robots in record numbers, according to data from the Association for Advancing Automation cited by Reuters. Since the start of 2021, orders have been placed for about 29,000—or nearly $1.5 billion worth, an almost 40% increase from the same period last year, according to the industry group. The second-biggest year in sales was back in 2017 when there was plenty of tech innovation but no pandemic roiling the economy.

Asked his thoughts on raising the minimum wage, the former Carl’s Jr. CEO Andy Puzder once responded that there’s absolutely no downside to hiring robots. You can pay them a $0 an hour, and they’ll never complain, always attempt to upsell the customer, never take a vacation, can’t get injured on the job, and won’t file a sexual-harassment or race discrimination case against you, he said.

The sudden interest is undoubtedly tied to AI’s work ethic and skills. In the past 20 months, factories across the country have ridden out all kinds of disruptions that, were the workforce 100% nonhuman, wouldn’t have slowed things down—by social distancing on the factory floor or staging worker walkouts, for instance. Lots of current human workers also quit during that same period, and companies are struggling to find replacements.

Read the complete Fast Company article BY CLINT RAINEY: https://www.fastcompany.com/90696622/labor-shortage-robots-companies

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