Amazon's Mass Layoffs Will Extend Into Next Year

Company's workforce has doubled to 1.5M since 2019
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 2:00 PM CST
Updated Nov 18, 2022 12:04 AM CST
Amazon Is Preparing a Major Round of Layoffs
People stand in the lobby of Amazon offices on Feb. 14, 2019, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
UPDATE Nov 18, 2022 12:04 AM CST

Amazon's mass layoffs did indeed begin this week, CNN reports, and the company's CEO sent a note to employees Thursday saying they will extend into next year. "I’ve been in this role now for about a year and a half, and without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we’ve made during that time (and, we’ve had to make some very tough calls over the past couple of years, particularly during the heart of the pandemic)," Andy Jassy's note read, per the AP. It's not clear how many employees have been laid off so far, and Jassy said the company has not determined exactly how many positions will be impacted in total. Some employees have been offered voluntary buyout offers.

Nov 14, 2022 2:00 PM CST

About 10,000 Amazon employees are about to lose their jobs following a disappointing third-quarter earnings report, reports the New York Times. The Wall Street Journal confirms, with both stories noting the number could change. It could, however, prove to be the largest round of layoffs in the company’s history. The layoffs reportedly involve corporate jobs in the retail division, human resources, and the devices division that manages voice-assistant Alexa. In all, the cuts would represent about 3% of Amazon’s corporate staff and less than 1% of its total global workforce, which now numbers some 1.5 million.

The news signals a stark turnaround from earlier this year, when Amazon and other tech firms were paying big bucks to attract any tech workers they could find. While Amazon’s layoffs come during a period of economic uncertainty, the company has been doing incredibly well over the past couple years thanks to booming growth during the pandemic. Per CNBC, Amazon’s workforce more than doubled between 2019 and the end of 2021; however, the company has already been trimming its liabilities this year with hiring freezes, warehouse closures, canceled warehouse construction projects, and shutdowns of underperforming projects like its telehealth service and prototype home-delivery robot.

Amazon is not alone in layoff country, as Forbes reports. Elon Musk is axing half of Twitter’s workforce, and Meta announced it will cut 13% of its workers. Other tech firms announcing substantial layoffs since early October include Microsoft, Salesforce, Redfin, Zillow, Upstart, and HelloFresh. (Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos declared publicly for the first time that he intends to give most of his wealth to charity during his lifetime.)

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