Recovery Inequality

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Posted: Oct 22, 2015 12:01 AM
Recovery Inequality

There’s a general malaise in the nation that isn’t reflected in many official economic reports that point to higher optimism, low inflation and a nation on the mend. That’s why the Gallup-Economic Confidence Index always grabs my attention. It turned down at the start of the year, perhaps a harbinger for the stock market, and ignored the plunge in gasoline as a possible magic elixir.


It’s a big problem, even if you take it at face value with all the “good” news out there, and the inconsistent and incongruent nature of the recovery. In fact, more states experienced job losses than gains last month.

  • 20 states job gains

  • 27 states job losses

  • 3 states unchanged

States Losing Jobs

MO -16,500

PA -16,400

MI -9,800

HA -8,100

CT -7,600

States Gaining Jobs

TX +26,600

NY +12,000

SC +6,3000

It’s simply not a recovery with a nationwide rising tide- and that’s a shame.

Gonna Make You Sweat

The great news is that Amazon is hiring 100,000 seasonal workers up from 80,000 last year; but make sure to check the qualifications before assuming that you have found a way to earn some extra Christmas cash.

Prepare for warp speed!

We're always looking for new Amazonians to join us to work hard, have fun, and make history on a seasonal basis. We hire seasonal associates throughout the year, and as you can see below our peak season is when Amazon Fulfillment history is made.

Amazon Fulfillment Associates are among those on the front line fulfilling customers' orders within our Fulfillment Centers. The ideal candidate is focused on the customer experience, quality, safety, and productivity.

Basic Qualifications for Seasonal Fulfillment Associate positions:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a High School diploma or equivalent
  • Must be willing and able to work all shifts
  • Must be willing and able to work overtime as required
  • Must be able to read and take direction in English
  • Must be able to lift up to 49 pounds with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Must be able to stand/walk for up to 10-12 hours with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Must be willing and able to frequently push, pull, squat, bend, and reach with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Must be able to continuously climb and descend stairs safely (applies to sites with stairs)
  • Must be able to work on a secure mezzanine at a height of up to 40 feet (applies to buildings with mezzanines)
  • Must be willing and able to work on powered equipment - for example, a forklift or cherry picker

The toughest points will be:

Willing and able to work all shifts and overtime in the era of a work-life balance (a lot of unemployed folks like their free time). The physical stuff is also not for the faint of heart, and there’s the issue of a fear of heights. In some respects, it seems like Amazon would rather have a robot than a human being; while that could be a hiring manager’s dream, it’s not a reality –yet.

Man vs. Machine- No Contest!

Consider DRC-Hubo, the robot that just won the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Robot challenge by doing eight tasks in the shortest amount of time:

1. Get into a standard human vehicle and drive it to a specified location.

2. Get out of the vehicle and travel across rubble.

3. Clear obstacles from a doorway.

4. Open the door, and enter the building.

5. Find a leaking pipe and close the associated valve.

6. Reconnect a hose or cable.

7. Climb a ladder.

8. Grab a tool from the site; break through a concrete wall and exit.

The thing is it took DRC-Hubo 45 minutes to complete the tasks, while many of his rivals couldn’t; one even lost its head after falling during the challenge. As for the tasks that were completed, one researcher said it took his ten- year-old daughter 10 minutes to pull them off.

So, humans are safe for now, as long as they’re ready to work day or night, break a sweat, and work a forklift.