Amazon Announces Rare Round of Layoffs

Company still hiring 'aggressively' in some areas
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 13, 2018 2:19 AM CST
Amazon Announces Rare Round of Layoffs
Pedestrians walk outside a building at's corporate headquarters, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Seattle, Wash.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

After a ramp-up in hiring last year, Amazon says it will cut a "small" number of positions at its Seattle headquarters. The company did not give an exact number, but the Seattle Times, citing a person familiar with the cuts, says they affect a few hundred people. That would be a small percentage of the 40,000 people Amazon employs at its headquarters, and an even smaller proportion of its 566,000 employees worldwide, though layoffs of any kind are rare at Amazon, the Times notes.

In a statement, Inc. says it is still hiring aggressively in some areas and will consider those affected for other roles, the AP reports. Amazon's headcount grew rapidly last year, up 66% from 2016. Some was because of its acquisition of Whole Foods and its 89,000 jobs, but Amazon also says it hired 130,000 people last year. Sources say the rapid hiring left some units over budget and over-staffed, leading to the current layoffs. Amazon is planning to open a second headquarters, and has narrowed the location down to 20 cities in the US and Canada. (The latest building at Amazon headquarters is a rainforest conservatory.)

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