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Facing Retail Economic Headwinds, Amazon Pauses Corporate Hiring

Amazon has put a freeze on corporate hiring.

Amazon is the latest company to implement a hiring freeze as both the tech and retail sectors struggle with difficult macroeconomic conditions.

In a letter to employees on Nov. 2, 2022, Beth Galetti, SVP of People Experience and Technology at Amazon said the company will pause new incremental hires in its corporate workforce for at least the next few months. The broader corporate hiring freeze follows smaller hiring freezes in specific areas of the Amazon business, including its retail business, as well as a trimming of its logistics workforce following a hiring spree during the pandemic.

The announcement came after the company reported lower than expected Q3 earnings at the end of October 2022. While Amazon’s cloud division, AWS, and its advertising business were bright spots, total revenues were brought down by the retail side of the business, and Amazon also forecast a slowdown in sales growth for the holiday season.

In most cases, replacements will still be hired when employees leave, said Galetti in her message. She also noted that hiring will continue in some “targeted areas” of the business and that Amazon intends to hire a “meaningful number of people” in 2023.

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“We’re facing an unusual macroeconomic environment and want to balance our hiring and investments with being thoughtful about this economy,” said Galetti in her message. “This is not the first time that we’ve faced uncertain and challenging economies in our past. While we have had several years where we’ve expanded our headcount broadly, there have also been several years where we’ve tightened our belt and were more streamlined in how many people we added. With fewer people to hire this moment, this should give each team an opportunity to further prioritize what matters most to customers and the business, and to be more productive.”

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