According to The Wall Street Journal, the layoffs are mostly in the company’s corporate ladder and represent approximately 5 percent of that part of its labor force. The large number is 1.2 percent of the company’s overall total of 1.5 million employees as of September.
In November, the Seattle-based company announced it was beginning layoffs, and that cuts would be centered in its devices business, recruiting, and retail operations. However, at the time it was reported that there would only be 10,000 cuts, thousands of which began in 2022.
After the Journal broke the story on Wednesday, Chief Executive Andy Jassy addressed the cuts in a blog post saying, “Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” adding that the majority of the cuts are on the retail and recruiting areas of Amazon and that affected employees would be told later this month.
During the pandemic, customers flocked to the retail giant which caused a massive surge in the company’s growth. According to the Journal, “To keep up with demand, Amazon doubled its logistics network and added hundreds of thousands of employees.”
However, as demand decreased following a return to in-person retail shopping, Amazon began a cost-cutting review to scale back divisions that were unprofitable and made targeted cuts last year to bring down costs. This included closing physical stores and announcing a companywide hiring freeze.
The trend similarly affected other tech companies including Facebook's parent company Meta Platforms which said it will be cutting over 11,000 workers, 13 percent of its staff. Salesforce Inc announced Wednesday that it was laying off 10 percent of its labor force
Amazon’s layoffs are so far the highest number of people let go by a tech company in the past few months, according to Layoffs.fyi.
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