Amazon axing 18,000 jobs to slash costs amid 'uncertain economy'

The job losses will include the UK and Europe, but the firm has not given details of how each will be affected.

Amazon axing 18,000 jobs worldwide to slash costs amid ‘uncertain economy’ iStock

Amazon has announced it will axe more than 18,000 jobs worldwide this month, in the largest layoffs programme in its history.

It is understood the job losses will include the UK and Europe, but the firm has not given details of how each country will be affected.

The online retail titan, which employs around 1.5 million people globally, had warned in November of job cuts without confirming a figure as part of plans to slash costs.

However, it said it had found more roles would need to be axed as part of an in-depth review of its business.

Amazon said roles that will be affected the most include those across its stores – such as Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go – as well as its human resources division.

Chief executive Andy Jassy said in a note to employees, which was made public: “These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”

He blamed the move on an “uncertain economy”, adding “we’ve hired rapidly over the last several years”.

Mr Jassy added the announcement had been brought forward after one of its employees leaked the details.

“We decided it was better to share this news earlier so you can hear the details directly from me,” he said.

The group expects to tell staff directly impacted by the cuts from January 18 and said it is offering a separation payment, transitional health insurance benefits, and job placement support.

He added: “Companies that last a long time go through different phases. They’re not in heavy people expansion mode every year.”

Another US tech company also announced a round of major job cuts on Thursday, with Salesforce axing around 8,000 workers worldwide, or 10% of its workforce.