Amazon confirms plans to cut 18,000 staff

Amazon will increase its layoffs to more than 18,000 staff, chief executive Andy Jassy has said.

In a public staff note put out on Wednesday, Jassy said that worsening financial conditions have made the company increase its planned job cuts. Reuters had previously reported that Amazon was planning to cut around 10,000 staff in early 2023.

While the layoff decisions will be communicated starting January 18, Jassy said that they will mostly impact Amazon’s ecommerce and human resources teams.

In total, the cuts will amount to around 6 per cent of Amazon’s corporate workforce of 300,000. Amazon employs a total of 1.5 million staff in the US, making it the country’s second-largest private employer after supermarket chain Walmart.

In his note, Jassy said that Amazon’s planning for 2023 "has been more difficult given the uncertain economy and that we've hired rapidly over the last several years."

"Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so," he said.

US-based big tech firms have undergone major downsizing over the past 12 months, with the entire tech industry losing more than 150,000 workers in the US alone in 2022. Salesforce on Wednesday also announced plans to cut around 10 per cent of its staff, while Meta is in the process of reducing its workforce by 11,000.

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