It’s been a trying few weeks for Amazon employees in a variety of departments as they wait to hear if the company’s mass layoffs will affect their jobs. Rumors of Amazon’s workforce reduction were confirmed in an Amazon message on Wednesday, but the final number of Amazon employees expected to be laid off was not revealed in the most recent executive statement.
According to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s message on Thursday, November 17, “several positions” have been eliminated in the Devices and Books departments, and an unspecified number of people in the company’s People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) sector — an internal service department for Amazon employees — have been given the option to leave voluntarily.
Jassy predicts that more layoffs will occur in the PXT and Stores departments in 2023. Details on other departments that will be impacted are unknown as the company’s annual operation planning and reviewing process continues. I will offer employees who are affected internal transfers where possible, and separation packages with transitional benefits if this is not possible.
While downsizing is never a pleasant experience, especially for those affected, looking at Amazon’s hiring trends over the last nearly three years makes the company’s layoffs seem less surprising. According to Bloomberg, the company’s global workforce increased by 75% during the pandemic to keep up with increased online shopping from people who were quarantined or working from home.
Now that the news of an impending recession has reached consumers, and inflation remains high — despite falling since June, according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator — Amazon may see a trend of less inspired consumer activity during the upcoming holiday season. The average shopper simply has less money to spend, and according to a Deloitte study, even those with extra cash are more likely to spend it on travel, entertainment, and experiences — more of a one-time consumption holiday gift.
Jassy says in his message that big things are still on the way for Amazon Stores, Advertising, and Amazon Web Services — the company’s cloud and data services platform. The retailer will also continue to expand its successful auxiliary programs, such as Prime Video, Alexa, and the recently adopted healthcare venture.