Amazon begins its largest-ever layoffs, 18,000 employees to be hit

Amazon Inc is set to begin its largest-ever layoffs in history with plans to let go 18,000 employees. The e-commerce giant will cut some jobs in the US, Canada, and Costa Rica by the end of Wednesday, the company said in a memo to staff seen by Reuters.

The layoff decision was announced earlier this month by Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy. He in an internal note said that annual planning had been more difficult given the uncertain economy, and the company hired rapidly over the last several years.

The CEO said that the job cuts, about 6 per cent of the company’s roughly 300,000 corporate employees, would mostly impact the e-commerce and human resources divisions.

Earlier today, tech giant Microsoft said it would cut about 10,000 jobs this year. In a letter to employees, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the decision was difficult but necessary. “We are living through times of significant change.”

During the pandemic, Nadella said, customers accelerated their digital spending but they were now optimising their spending to do more with less.

Global financial institutions like World Bank and IMF have predicted recession this year, prompting the companies to restructure and take measures to cut costs.

In the US, growth is forecast to fall to 0.5 per cent in 2023—1.9 percentage points below previous forecasts and the weakest performance outside of official recessions since 1970.

The World Bank on January 10 said that given fragile economic conditions, any new adverse development – such as higher-than-expected inflation, abrupt rises in interest rates to contain it, a resurgence of the pandemic, or escalating geopolitical tensions – could push the global economy into recession in 2023.

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