In a rare move, Amazon is 'cutting' hundreds of jobs

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Several hundred employees at the firm's Seattle headquarters are expected to lose their jobs with other regions less severely impacted. In fact, the workforce at Amazon's Seattle headquarters has ballooned from 5,000 in 2010 to more than 40,000 at the end of 2017.

The job cuts almost dents Amazon's workforce of half a million globally and in many areas they are still increasing the number of employees.

However, according to the report, Amazon's rising employee numbers over the last two years left some departments over budget and with too many staff on hand. The jobs impacted are related to Amazon's consumer retail business. The Times reported some of the cuts were aimed at weeding out lower-performing employees. In Las Vegas, Amazon-owned footwear seller Zappos has laid off about 30 people.

In December, it was reported that Amazon was sharply cutting down on hiring, the first sign of a slowdown in its rapid expansion over the past few years. Beyond roles in warehouses, it has 12,500 open jobs listed on Monday, the Seattle Times noted. And a year ago, Quidsi, the subsidiary behind Diapers.com and other sites, cut more than 250 jobs. Amazon says this is to eliminate redundant management and keep the company fast-paced.

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Shares were up almost 3% on Monday. Along with the cuts, Amazon has now mandated that employees who are responsible for other supervisors, must also have four employees reporting to them.

The reductions are part of a broader reorganisation at the company, but some see the moves as a shift toward using more robots and computers for functions once performed by humans.

Earlier in February, chief executive Jeff Bezos said that the company's 2017 projections for Alexa were "very optimistic" and that the company had "far exceeded them". Amazon shares are up 18.5% in 2018, and 67.5% in the past year, compared to the S&P 500's 0.6% loss this year and 14.7% gain over the past year.

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