Home Trade industry The Great Resignation forced American companies to order a record number of robots in 2022

The Great Resignation forced American companies to order a record number of robots in 2022


America’s robotics industry is booming, thanks in part to the country’s record labor shortage.

Despite recession warnings and fears of an inevitable economic collapse, America in 2022 is full of jobs, it’s just that no one wants to take them.

In 2021, the United States created 3.8 million jobs, an “unprecedented” number according to the American Chamber of Commerce.

But since then, labor market participation has fallen sharply, with about 3.4 million fewer workers participating in the labor market than immediately before the pandemic, according to the chamber.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes have struggled to cope with growing labor shortages and have seemingly tried everything to address it, from cutting hours of operation to offering employees never-before-seen perks .

Now, new data suggests that American companies are relying more on something else to combat the lack of human workers: robots.

For the third straight quarter, U.S. robotics sales numbers hit an all-time high, according to figures released this week by the Association for Advancing Automation, a trade group also known as A3.

The U.S. robotics industry sold 12,305 units last quarter, up 25% from the same period in 2021 and 6% more than the first quarter of this year.

The latest quarter was also the second-best on record for revenue, with U.S. robot makers raking in $585 million, down slightly from $646 million in Q1 2022 revenue, but still an increase. 29% compared to the same period last year. .

The automotive industry led in demand for new robots last quarter, which accounted for 59% of new orders according to A3, although other industries also saw growing demand as more sectors started to turn to automation to deal with personnel and logistical problems. .

“While this quarter shows a marked return to historic norms with more automotive robots than in any other industry, the continued growth of robotics in food and consumer goods companies in particular demonstrates the continued need for automate warehouse logistics to handle the explosive growth of e-commerce,” A3 President Jeff Burnstein said in a statement.

Companies have been acquiring a growing number of robots since last year to tackle labor shortages, with machines ideally equipped to do many of the manufacturing and fixed-function jobs that workers have had enough of.

Companies like restaurants and food delivery operators have turned to robotics en masse since the pandemic began, perhaps accelerating a trend that was already seeing companies moving towards automation.

Last year, a third of companies were “already implementing or exploring automation to replace workers,” a Duke University survey of chief financial officers found.

Sign up for the Makeshift Features mailing list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews and surveys.