Amazon Begins Layoffs as Economic Woes Mount


A week before Thanksgiving 2022 and right before the year’s holiday season is slated to kick in, Amazon has initiated its cost-cutting efforts. Several posts on LinkedIn suggest that the e-tailer and cloud giant began laying off employees this week.

Amazon is the third Big Tech company after Meta and Microsoft and the latest in the long list of companies that have had to fire employees to stay buoyant in an economically uncertain environment.

The New York Times on Monday reported that the world’s largest online retailer is planning to trim down by 10,000 employees, approximately 0.67% of its total 1.5 million workforce. Most layoffs are expected from the devices organization, retail division and human resources.

More than a dozen people who were let go took to LinkedIn to confirm recent developments and offer their services for any new role.

The layoffs at Amazon followed some of the other steps it has taken to reduce expenses. This includes bringing a hiring freezeOpens a new window applicable across its retail business for corporate roles, shutting down brick-and-mortar stores and some other experimental or loss-making divisions, canceling new warehouses, etc.

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Like other tech companies, Amazon also witnessed a boom in business as the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns receded, and spending soared. Between 2019 and December 2021, the company doubled its workforce, necessitated by expanding facilities and operations.

However, as things stand, the post-COVID-19 growth has worn off rapidly. Meanwhile, the conflict in Europe has culminated in an energy standoff that is influencing the monetary policies of global economies (higher inflation and interest rates) and rearing its ugly head on organizational and consumer spending.

Amazon’s revenue declined for the first two quarters of 2022 before increasing in Q3 2022 to $127.1 billionOpens a new window . However, it still declined year-over-year and is lower than its Q4 2022 revenue of $137.41 billion. Consistent operating expenses also mean lowering profitability. In the nine months ended September 2022, Amazon’s net loss stood at $3 billion.

In other words, Amazon’s income statement, curtailment of expansion and layoffs indicate it is the latest confirmed victim of the tech boom and bust cycle.

Trading at $98.94 per share, Amazon’s stock is back to pre-pandemic levels.

In 2022, 795 tech companies laid off 121,667 employeesOpens a new window , which in absolute terms is slowly but steadily inching toward the number of tech jobs lost during the 2001 dot com bubble burst. However, the present-day composition of tech and other industries varies significantly from what it was in 2001, thereby making the scale of those impacted considerably less severe today than it was 22 years ago.

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