Now Amazon says it is hitting pause on new corporate hiring

Retail-to-cloud giant is the latest company to put hiring on pause in the face of an uncertain economy.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Amazon has announced that it will pause new hires for its corporate workforce for the next few months as it sees where the economy goes next. 

"We're facing an unusual macro-economic environment, and want to balance our hiring and investments with being thoughtful about this economy," said Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of people, experience and technology. 

Galetti notes that Amazon had already paused hiring in some of its business. But Amazon will continue to hire backfills to replace departing employees and will hire incrementally in some "targeted places". That said, Amazon will still "hire a meaningful number of people in 2023", according to Galetti. 

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"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," she wrote. 

"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."

At its Q3 earnings, Amazon said it planned to hire 150,000 for its operations network in the US to support deliveries during the holiday season. 

Galetti also noted that Amazon is upbeat about Prime Video, Alexa, Grocery, Kuiper, Zoox, and Healthcare. Amazon in July announced it would buy One Medical for $3.9 billion. Last month, it announced plans for Project Kuiper to launch 3,000 broadband-beaming satellites into space, creating a new competitor for SpaceX's Starlink service. But in August, it announced it would shut down Amazon Care, its Telehealth service. 

Amazon says it employs more than 75,000 people across the Puget Sound region, including its corporate offices in Seattle and Bellevue, fulfillment centers in Kent, Sumner, and Dupont, its air hub at SeaTac airport, Project Kuiper's R&D facility in Redmond, and more than 15 Amazon and Whole Foods physical stores. 

Analysts are predicting that spending on cloud computing, most of which goes to Amazon Web Services, will grow in 20.7% in 2023, but, right now, growth in cloud spending is slowing. 

Amazon last week reported AWS revenue growth for Q3 2022 slowed to 27.5%, it's lowest year-on-year growth since 2014. Amazon's risk factors in its forward-looking statements to investors included COVID-19, exchange rates, geopolitical tensions, recession, inflation, interest rates, global labor shortages, supply chain issues, world events, and the rate of growth of the internet, e-commerce and cloud.

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