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Amazon to Lay Off 18,000 Employees As It Grapples With ‘Uncertain Economy’

Amazon is eliminating a total of 18,000 roles as the company grapples with an uncertain economic environment permeating tech and other industries.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced the staff reduction in a Wednesday memo to employees and said the planning and review process for 2023 had been “more difficult given the uncertain economy” and the company’s rapid hiring over the last few years. He added that these cuts include the previously announced layoffs in November — when reports said Amazon would lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles.

The November reductions impacted the company’s Devices and Books businesses and included voluntary reduction offers for some employees in the People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) teams. The new layoffs will impact people in Amazon Stores and its PXT organization.

Impacted employees will receive a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits and external job placement support, Jassy said.

With the news, the scourge of layoffs — mostly in the tech sector — is bleeding into 2023. Last year, tech and retail companies laid off thousands of employees to cut costs amid a rough economic environment.

Sneaker resale site StockX was one of the first businesses to cut staff in 2022 back in June, saying in a statement that it needed to adapt and pivot its business to keep up with “macroeconomic challenges” that are impacting the economy and its business. What followed was a barrage of layoffs this fall from companies like Gap, Shopify, Walmart and more companies. Salesforce this week announced it would cut 10% of its staff after laying off hundreds of employees in November.

For Amazon, Jassy said these cuts will help the company chase “long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”

Amazon in October reported lower than expected earnings for the third quarter and projected a weaker than expected forecast for the crucial holiday season.

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