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Amazon freezes hiring on corporate retail division

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is implementing a hiring freeze on the corporate side of its retail business for the rest of the year, according to a New York Times report, becoming the latest company to pause hiring plans amid growing concerns about an economic downturn.

Citing an internal announcement, The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the company informed recruiters all open job postings for such roles will close, and new openings will be available next year. The internal e-mail also recommended phone interviews and other recruiting efforts be cancelled, according to the report, which said some roles – such as field positions – will be exempt.

In an e-mail, Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser said the company has a “significant number” of open roles. Glasser declined to say if Amazon was implementing the hiring freeze.

“We have many different businesses at various stages of evolution, and we expect to keep adjusting our hiring strategies in each of these businesses at various junctures,” Glasser said in a statement. The Seattle-based tech and retail giant is one of several companies attempting to curb costs by implementing a personnel freeze. Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly planning to reduce its own headcount amid fears over what the economy might look like in the coming months.

Overall, hiring has generally remained strong. But hikes on interest rates by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, designed to reduce high inflation, raise the likelihood of a downturn.

People arrive for work at the Amazon distribution centre in the Staten Island borough of New York. PHOTO: AP

For Amazon, its retail business has been sluggish in the past few months as Americans shifted away from the pandemic-induced spike in online shopping.

During the last two quarters, the company reported some of its slowest rates of revenue growth in nearly two decades.

Aiming to cut costs, it’s been subletting its warehouses, canceling some projects or delaying construction on others.

In July, the company said it was able to reduce its headcount on the warehouse side, which had been overstaffed, through attrition. It also said the broader economy was expected to shape its hiring plans moving forward.

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