Amazon is cutting a few hundred jobs at its Seattle headquarters, but says it is still adding to its overall headcount there.
An Amazon spokesman said the adjustments are part of an “annual planning process.” The company was responding to widespread reports that, after a years-long hiring spree, it was making a rare round of layoffs in its retail operations.
“We are making adjustments across the company — small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others,” the spokesman said.
Employees targeted by the “adjustments” are being offered positions elsewhere in the company, but it’s unclear how many will stay.
As for how many employees are being affected by the moves, the spokesman declined to specify, but the number is thought by sources to be somewhere in the low hundreds.
Meanwhile, Amazon is said to currently have nearly 4,000 open positions at its Seattle headquarters, and it recently secured land to add 1 million square feet to its 8-million-square-foot corporate campus there. The addition is expected to allow at least 5,000 more employees. Globally, Amazon had 560,000 workers at the end of last year.
But any consolidation in staff is uncommon for Amazon, which has always emphasized its role as a job creator when confronted with any talk about outsized growth or unfair treatment of workers.
The company even created the sense that it was a jackpot of sorts when it publicly solicited bids for its second headquarters, getting more than 200 city governments to submit proposals.
After a few months of consideration, Amazon in January narrowed the pool to 20 cities, including Los Angeles, Dallas and Boston. Whichever city wins out is expected to see an economic boon, at least for a few years. Amazon plans to put more than $5 billion toward construction over 15 to 17 years, creating an estimated 50,000 jobs. The second headquarters is expected to be on an equal footing with Amazon’s Seattle offices.
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