Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

On New York's Upper East Side. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty

For 21 years, Edgar Rodriguez has worked as the doorman at 115 Central Park West, a job requiring subtle courtesy and dapper dress. But in the last decade, his duties have been wholly upended.

Why it matters: The rise of Amazon has shaken up the U.S. and global economy. But it's done so in sometimes odd ways, all-but killing some centuries-old trades, like bookselling, while giving others — like the doorman — surprising second lives.

  • Once a summoner of taxis, watcher of small children, and keen vetter of visitors, Rodriguez now mostly spends his time on a single task — managing the safekeeping of a daily avalanche of Amazon deliveries.

The big picture: The Amazon effect on jobs has been two-sided. The e-commerce giant has added more that 250,000 jobs in the U.S. alone, but a whopping 12 million retail jobs are in jeopardy because of its rapid ascent, per MarketWatch. Amazon has also faced sharp criticism for the wages and working conditions of its tens of thousands of warehouse employees and truckers.

And those are just the employees on Amazon's payroll. The company is unleashing tectonic shifts across the working world:

  • Amazon has transformed the job of retail sales clerk. Thrown out of work by the shrinkage of Sears, Macy's, J.C. Penney and other retailers, thousands of salespeople have found jobs at Amazon and other e-commerce warehouses.
  • It has changed the job of shipper, who in the old days sent a truckload or two of inventory to a store once a week. Amazon Prime has made buyers expect their purchase delivered to their home — now.
  • The e-commerce giant has also been part of a wholesale change in retirement. Thousands of financially strapped older Americans have re-entered the workforce and become a transient workforce that travels the country, laboring a few weeks or months in one Amazon warehouse, a few weeks in another, and so on.

As Amazon grows larger and larger, "we don't quite know what the consequences are going to be, and it's going to touch things that we don't predict," said Joe Parilla of Brookings. "It's changing these corners of the labor market."

On a typical day, Rodriguez's 215-unit building, which employs a team of 10 doormen and a mail clerk, receives 160 packages.

  • In the month between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, that jumps to 300 per day, he said. "It's really, really out of control."
  • The building put custom technology in place to scan and record the flood of packages that come in, said Rodriguez. Before, the doormen used to write out serial numbers by hand in a log book. "That alone took three hours."

Across New York, doormen juggle deliveries that pile up astoundingly high.

  • On the Upper East Side, at 72nd Street and 3rd Avenue, the 855-unit Wellesley apartment building had to hire two doormen specifically to direct a never-ending stream of delivery guys.
  • Waddit Cruz has been at 25 East 68th Street, a much smaller building of 75 units, for 10 years. He said he has to deal with some 60 packages a day.
  • As I was talking to Ian Vasquez, a doorman at 170 Amsterdam Avenue, he scanned through the 100th package of the day — at 3:30pm. "Some of the carriers haven't come yet," he said.

The other side: City-dwellers who live in converted townhouses or buildings without doormen order just as many packages — but they don't have someone to run the lobby-warehouse. That leads to some frustration.

  • A colleague who lives in a D.C. apartment without a doorman says that some days, the package buildup outside his door prevents him from leaving the building. He uses the side door to get out.
  • New York and D.C. colleagues told me that they've had packages stolen off the stoop of their homes.

The long view: The rise of new technologies has often shifted the burden of work, Jared Bernstein, a former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, told Axios. Consider the ATM machine, which, after its invention in 1969, prompted us to withdraw our own cash, thus changing the job of teller.

Amazon is doing something similar, Bernstein said. "It's shifting work toward consumers, or, in the case of doormen, toward the people who work for consumers."

Go deeper

SoCalGas agrees to $1.8 billion settlement for 2015 gas blowout

An evacuee with a Save Porter Ranch sign outside Southern California Gas Company's Aliso Canyon gate in Porter Ranch in January 2016 as the gas leak continued. Photos: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Southern California Gas Company and its parent company announced Monday they've agreed to pay up to $1.8 billion in settlement claims over the 2015 Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility blowout.

Why it matters: Some 100,000 tons of methane, ethane and toxic chemicals poured into the air for 112 days, forcing over 8,000 families to evacuate from their Los Angeles-area homes and sickening many with headaches, nausea and nosebleeds, per the L.A. Times.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

North Korea fires short-range missile to sea, slams "hostile" U.S. policy

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday that North Korea's military had fired a short-range missile toward its eastern sea, per AP.

Why it matters: North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations defended the latest launch in remarks to the UN General Assembly, demanding the U.S. and South Korea end their "hostile policy" against the country.

Arizona Judge: Adding mask mandates ban to budget bill unconstitutional

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An Arizona judge ruled Monday that the state's ban on mask mandates in schools, and other measures put into the state budget by Republicans, are unconstitutional, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The sweeping ruling voids a ban on vaccine requirements for public universities, community colleges and local governments, and strikes down some non-COVID-related measures like a ban on teaching critical race theory in classrooms and anti-fraud measures for ballots.