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Amazon begins cutting thousands of workers


After decades of near-constant expansion, Amazon began laying off corporate workers on Tuesday, becoming the latest tech giant to cut its workforce in recent weeks.

Amazon is expected to cut about 10,000 workers, about 3 percent of the company’s workforce. The company began communicating layoffs to employees Tuesday afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive matters.

Amazon plans to cut thousands of corporate workers

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The cuts will mostly affect areas such as retail, human resources and units. Earlier this month, Amazon announced a broad hiring freeze among its white-collar workers that would last at least “for the next few months.”

The cuts are expected to be the e-commerce giant’s largest round of layoffs in its history, and mark a major turnaround for the company that has hired aggressively over the past decade.

Amazon is expected to continue hiring at its warehouses, where it is adding employees to support the busy holiday season.

In recent weeks, Twitter, Salesforce, Facebook parent Meta and other tech companies have announced significant layoffs or hiring freezes, following months of warning signs, such as tech start-ups finding it harder to raise capital.

Dan Ives, a financial analyst at Wedbush Securities, told The Washington Post on Monday that the layoffs could signal an impending recession. Tech companies, he said, “got significantly inflated, and they’re not built for a softer economy that we’re seeing.”

Meta cut 11,000 jobs, or 13 percent of its workforce, last week. Cloud service Lyft has also lost 13 percent of its employees. Fintech firm Stripe and real estate marketplace Zillow have also announced layoffs since October.

Earlier this month, Twitter CEO Elon Musk cut half of the company’s workforce shortly after buying the social network.

Twitter is cutting staff as the Musk era sets in

The mass layoffs represent a sharp reversal for Amazon, which has been expanding for much of its history. At the end of September, it employed more than 1.5 million workers, an increase of 5 percent from the previous year. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Post.)

Amazon saw great growth during the corona crisis as people spent more time at home and increasingly shopped online. In May, the company acknowledged that it had been staffing up its warehouses too quickly to keep up with demand, which was then cooling.

Also, in the face of high inflation and increasingly budget-conscious consumers, Amazon gave a disappointing forecast for the holiday season – usually its strongest time of the year – which sent the stock tumbling last month. Amazon’s stock has fallen nearly 39 percent since the beginning of the year, though it still has a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion.

Mandy Dean, 39, was a contract recruiter in Chicago for Amazon Luna, the company’s cloud gaming platform. The company let her contract expire in September, although she said she was on her way to interview to go full-time.

It wasn’t a total surprise when Dean said she saw the signs in August, as the software engineering openings she was tasked with filling dwindled.

“It was bad timing for everything to happen,” Dean said. “I really enjoyed working for Amazon. I enjoyed the culture, the people I worked with, the job itself. It was a difficult situation, but there was nothing I could do.”

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