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Amazon to cut 18,000 jobs in biggest wave of tech layoffs so far


Tough times continue for Big Tech as Amazon is set to let go of 6% of its corporate workforce to reduce costs.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the reductions in a letter to employees on Thursday, January 5. He said it was a difficult but necessary step to help Amazon achieve “a stronger cost structure.”

Overall, Amazon will cut more than 18,000 roles, which amounts to about 6% of its 300,000-people-strong corporate workforce and about 1.2% of its total number of 1.5 million employees.

While several teams are impacted, most role eliminations are in retail and human resources divisions. Jassy indicated that some jobs would be cut in Europe, with affected employees starting to receive their notes on January 18.

He said the announcement of the cuts was pushed forward because “one of our teammates leaked this information externally.”

Thousands of people have already been fired from Amazon, which announced it would start mass layoffs in November. The total number of planned job cuts is higher than the 10,000 reported at the time.

“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy said in a letter.

Amazon is just one of many tech companies that moved to eliminate roles to cut costs amidst economic uncertainty, but the number of people it plans to fire is the largest in recent months.

Facebook parent Meta is a close second. In November, it announced it would lay off 11,000 employees or 13% of its workforce. Elon Musk slashed the number of Twitter’s employees by half after taking over the company in October.

Thousands of tech jobs have also been cut in China, with Alibaba, Tencent, and, most recently, TikTok parent ByteDance joining their American counterparts in mass layoffs.

According to Layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks job cuts across the tech industry, more than 153,000 people worldwide were fired in the sector in 2022.


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