E-commerce giants Amazon are set to lay off 10,000 workers.
According to a report published in the New York Times, the company will axe staff in corporate and technology roles, with some set to leave as soon as this week. The cuts will primarily hit the devices part of the business, but human resources and retail will also be affected. It is not clear whether its UK work force will be targeted.
Amazon’s decision comes at a time of uncertainty for several large US companies. In recent weeks, Meta Platforms – who own Facebook – and Elon Musk’s Twitter have all announced reductions in head count. The decisions are largely driven by a desire to reduce costs in the face of difficult global economic conditions.
In figures published last month, Amazon forecast relatively weak growth in the run up to Christmas and set this expectation against a near 44 billion dollar rise in costs in the 9 months to September this year, when compared with the same period last year.
The change in approach is a sharp contrast to the explosion in hiring that occurred during the pandemic, when Amazon recruited 15,000 additional workers in the UK to cope with demand from house-bound families. The total of 25,000 new jobs for the British market made 2021 a record year for job growth at the retailer and shone a harsh light on traditional businesses with large physical footprints.
The Workers Union Says…
The news that Amazon is to lay off 10,000 workers is a sign that the global economy is struggling. At the moment it would be wrong to predict whether these cuts will find their way to British shores, but it remains an unwelcome possibility.
For the people that routinely criticise big business, such turmoil will be a price worth paying. But for workers in areas that were once dominated by the old industries, Jeff Bezos’ brainchild has created many jobs and changed consumer expectations in ways that were undreamt of before the internet revolution.
All of this could be swept away if one major player creates a domino effect. On that basis politicians would be wise to work with major employers to create the consumer confidence that keeps people in jobs and grows the economy.