Amazon Confirms It is Laying Off a Record 18,000 Employees


In short: Amazon is joining a growing number of companies laying off staff as the global economy continues to affect business. The tech giant is initiating the largest job cuts in its history, laying off 18,000 employees, some of whom won’t know they’ve been laid off for another two weeks.

Back in November, the New York Times reported that Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 people in the corporate and technology fields. The cuts began immediately, and many of them focused on Amazon’s device organization, retail division, and human resources.

Thousands of employees have already lost their jobs, and there are many more layoffs ahead — more than expected. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote that reviewing Amazon’s annual planning process this year was more challenging given the uncertainty in the economy and the rapid recruitment of employees to keep up with demand during the pandemic. Thus, the number of liquidated roles increases to 18,000. Yassi added that this will affect several teams, although most of the exceptions will come from Amazon stores and PXT organizations.

The cuts account for about 5% of Amazon’s corporate workforce and 1.2% of the total 1.5 million employees. This is the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history and the largest number of layoffs among technology firms cutting staff in recent months.

Amazon experienced a boom in its fortunes at the height of the pandemic before many consumers returned to traditional shopping and reined in their spending as inflation and the cost of living soared.

Yassy said that since information about the decision to lay off even more employees leaked ahead of time (The Wall Street Journal published a revised figure before the publication of the CEO’s post), he shared the news in advance, instead of first talking to those directly affected by it. This means that many dismissed employees will not find out about their fate until January 18. This can mean a long and stressful two weeks for those who fear that their jobs may be at risk.

Last year was difficult for employees of technology companies. Twitter, HP, Meta, Lyft, Microsoft, Snap, Robinhood and many others have announced staff cuts.


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