Amazon has started its mass layoffs program which will see 18,000 staff around the world lose their jobs.

The company started notifying staff by email early on Wednesday, January 18, according to its worldwide retail chief Doug Herrington.

He said the firm intended to communicate with all terminated employees in the US, Canada, and Costa Rica by the end of that day.

READ MORE: AMAZON RECRUITERS REVEAL UNEMPLOYMENT FEARS AS COMPANY CUTS 18,000 JOBS

Staff in China will be told their fate after the Chinese New Year, and in other countries, Amazon must confer with employee representatives before finalizing cuts.

The recent wave will mainly impact the retail division and human resources.

Amazon has made the cut to reduce its global corporate workforce by six percent, which represents just one percent of its total headcount.

Herrington said in his memo the company will offer severance, transitional health coverage, and job placement to those affected.

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The reductions began last year and were first targeted at its Devices and Services unit, which makes the Alexa digital assistant and Echo smart speakers.

The e-commerce giant is grappling with sluggish online sales growth and is now preparing for a looming recession that might hurt its customers’ purchasing power.

Mr. Herrington said Amazon’s cuts were part of a bid to slash costs “so we can continue investing in the wide selection, low prices, and fast shipping that our customers love”.

He said the firm would “continue investing meaningfully” in growth areas like groceries, Amazon’s business-to-business sales program, third-party seller services, and healthcare.

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The Seattle company spent the majority of last year coping with a significant downturn in e-commerce growth as people returned to pre-pandemic patterns.

Amazon has paused warehouse launches and ceased hiring in its retail segment.

It extended the freeze to the company’s corporate employees before it began to make job losses.

Amazon is one of several major tech firms that are downsizing, including Cisco, Intel, Meta, Qualcomm, and Salesforce.

Microsoft announced mass layoffs that affected 10,000 jobs, the latest in a spate of tech job jobs.

Source: Bloomberg

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