Amazon thinks it will run out of available labour by 2024

The great resignation has risen from bloated government spending during the pandemic-induced lockdowns, but it doesn’t look like that trend will revert anytime soon. According to a leaked Amazon memo, the company believes it will run out of prospective workers for its US warehouses by 2024. It comes from research conducted last year that predicted a labour crisis hitting the retail giant, likely to be more prevalent in certain areas than in others.

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The research predicted that Amazon would exhaust its labour supply in Phoenix, Arizona by the end of 2021 and in California’s Inland Empire by the end of 2022, for example. The number of prospective labourers were calculated by looking at income levels and proximity to current or planned facilities.

“If we continue business as usual, Amazon will deplete the available labour supply in the US network by 2024,” wrote the authors of the report. Some of the recommendations from the report posited includes raising wages to retain the current workforce as well as increasing automation in its various warehouses.

An Amazon spokesperson said that the leaked memo isn’t a complete picture of the current labour force in the United States. According to Rena Lunak, Amazon’s director of global operations and field communications, “there are many draft documents written on many subjects across the company that are used to test assumptions and look at different possible scenarios, but aren’t then escalated or used to make decisions. This was one of them. It doesn’t represent the actual situation, and we are continuing to hire well in Phoenix, the Inland Empire, and across the country.”

Amazon is the second largest private employer in the United States, and the largest private employer in a number of US states and cities. In September last year, the company announced that it plans to hire a further 125,000 people as its operations grow domestically.