The job cut plan is the largest of the recent workforce cuts to hit the US tech sector.

Amazon has announced it will cut more than 18,000 jobs from its workforce, citing “the uncertain economy” and the fact that it had been “hiring staff quickly” during the pandemic.

“Between the cuts we made in November and the cuts we’re sharing today, we plan to cut just over 18,000 positions,” CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement to his staff. The company had announced 10,000 layoffs in November.

The jobs to be cut under the plan amount to 6 percent of Amazon’s roughly 300,000 workforce, the largest of recent workforce cuts to hit the US tech sector.

Jassy said the company’s leadership was “deeply aware that these role eliminations are hard for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly.

“We are working to support those affected and are offering packages that include severance pay, transitional health insurance benefits and outside job placement support,” he said.

Some of the layoffs would fall in Europe, Jassy said, adding that affected workers would be notified from Jan. 18.

He said the sudden announcement was made “because one of our teammates leaked this information externally”.

The online retailer expanded its workforce during the pandemic to meet the explosive demand for deliveries, doubling its global workforce between early 2020 and early 2022.

The group had a total of 1.54 million employees worldwide at the end of September, excluding seasonal workers hired during periods of increased activity, particularly during the holiday season.

It now braced for likely slower growth as high inflation encouraged businesses and consumers to cut spending and its share price has halved over the past year.

“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy said.

In the tech sector, large platforms with an ad-based business model are facing cutbacks from advertisers, who are cutting spending in the face of inflation and rising interest rates.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, announced the loss of 11,000 jobs in November, or about 13 percent of the workforce. At the end of August, Snapchat laid off about 20 percent of its employees, about 1,200 people.

Twitter was bought in October by billionaire Elon Musk, who promptly laid off about half of the social media platform’s 7,500 employees.

The IT group Salesforce, which specializes in management solutions and cloud technology, announced on Wednesday that it would lay off about 10 percent of its employees, or just under 8,000 people.

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