Orders in North America for robots are reaching record numbers as the U.S. economy continues to slog through a labor shortage fueled by the pandemic.

According to data from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) – a trade group representing organizations involved in robotics, AI and other tech – the total number or orders this year reached nearly 29,000, with a value of $1.48 billion.

The orders are up 37% from a year ago, says the trade group.

“With labor shortages throughout manufacturing, logistics and virtually every industry, companies of all sizes are increasingly turning to robotics and automation to stay productive and competitive,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of A3, in a statement.

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During the third quarter, North American companies order…

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