Amazon has announced that it will begin to communicate, starting this Wednesday, the thousands of layoffs that it had already announced throughout this month and that will mainly affect workers in its retail and human resources business. In total, the company wants to get rid of at least 18,000 jobs, including the layoffs it announced last November, when it had cut some 10,000 jobs, mostly in its device and book businesses.
This figure corresponds to around 6% of Amazon’s nearly 300,000 corporate employees (mainly office jobs), a company that, in total – taking into account people who work by the hour or on temporary contracts, in warehouses and tasks cast-, has a staff of more than 1.5 million people. The giant is considered the second largest private employee in the United States, behind the retail giant Walmart.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the layoffs on January 4, after the planes were leaked to the press. “We are very aware that these deletions are difficult for people and we do not take these decisions lightly, nor do we underestimate how much they can affect the lives of those affected,” Jassy explained in a message to the staff, in which he promised support and severance pay for those who are fired.
Already then, the top executive of the operating company that the departures would begin to communicate to the people affected -or to the unions in certain cases- as of January 18, without giving details on how the dismissals will be distributed among the many countries in which that Amazon has a presence.
Reasons for staff reduction
As a reason for the readjustment of the workforce, Amazon pointed to the economic uncertainty and the high number of contracts that it had carried out in recent years. During the pandemic, the American company doubled its workforce, taking advantage of the “boom” of electronic commerce and the entire technology sector.
In its fiscal year of 2020, Amazon had a net profit of more than 21,000 million, almost double that of 2019, while in 2021 it broke records again, earning more than 33,000 million dollars. Although their accounts for the whole of 2022 are not yet known, between January and September they took a loss of 3,000 million dollars -a consequence mainly of the collapse of the shares of the electric vehicle manufacturing company Rivian, in the important inene-, despite the fact that its billing continued to grow.
Amazon’s layoffs are part of a general trend in the technology sector, which, after growing strongly in recent years, has opted for major readjustments in recent months. Companies such as Twitter Meta or Salesforce, among many others, have carried out significant downsizing and it is estimated that in 2022 the technology sector lost more than 150,000 jobs.