Skip to content

Assorted Links Sunday

Robot french fry friers, pet insurance and signing bonuses, food bag shortages, and robot bricklayers.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
1 min read
Assorted Links Sunday
Photo by Phillip Glickman / Unsplash

There are about 1 million more job openings than people looking for work: Employers are using a number of incentives, including pet insurance and signing bonuses, to fill those positions.

Amid the labor shortage, robots are stepping in to make the french fries: Fast-food chains are working with a host of startups to bring automation to their kitchens

The mystery of the missing workers, explained: A retirement boom, a turn for the worse in the opioid epidemic, and the rising cost of child care all stand in the way of employers seeking to fill open slots.

The Great Resignation: How employers drove workers to quit.

For some workers, the pandemic precipitated a shift in priorities, encouraging them to pursue a ‘dream job’, or transition to being a stay-at-home parent. But for many, many others, the decision to leave came as a result of the way their employer treated them during the pandemic.

McDonald’s pushes diners to use trays as food bags run tight: US restaurants’ to-go sales remain strong, contributing to packaging shortages

Where are the robotic bricklayers?

It’s easy to see the appeal of this idea - masonry construction seems almost perfectly suited for mechanization. It’s extremely repetitive - constructing a masonry building requires setting tens or hundreds of thousands of bricks or blocks, each one (nearly) identical, each one set in the same way. It doesn’t seem like it would require physically complex movements - each brick gets a layer of mortar applied, and is simply laid in place next to the previous one. And because each brick and mortar joint is the same size, placement is almost deterministic - each brick is the same fixed distance from the previous one.

Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Director of Economic Development for Galveston County, Texas.