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Amazon shrinks staff by 100,000, joining Netflix and Google in hiring slowdown

Amazon.com packages sit stacked on the sidewalk in New York on June 11, 2020. Amazon has become the latest major tech company to rethink its staffing needs amid inflation, the war in Ukraine, the lasting impacts of the pandemic, and fears of recession. (Bloomberg photo by Jeenah Moon)Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — With recession fears mounting—and inflation, the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic taking a toll—many tech companies are rethinking their staffing needs, with some of them instituting hiring freezes, rescinding offers and making rounds of layoffs.

Amazon was the latest company to discuss its belt-tightening efforts this week. During its quarterly earnings call Thursday, the e-commerce giant said it’s been adding jobs at the slowest rate since 2019. After relying on attrition to winnow its staff, Amazon now has about 100,000 fewer employees than in the previous quarter.

Amazon said in April that it was overstaffed after ramping up during the pandemic and needed to cut back. “As the variant subsided in the second half of the quarter and employees returned from leave, we quickly transitioned from being understaffed to being overstaffed, resulting in lower productivity,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said at the time.

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Amazon has been subleasing some warehouse space and paused development of facilities meant for office workers, saying it needed more time to figure out how much space employees will require for hybrid work. The company now has 1.52 million full- and part-time workers and is still the largest employer in the tech world, despite the reduction in headcount.