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Amazon layoff signals more pain for tech sector as recession fears mount

Friday, January 6, 2023
Amazon layoff signals more pain for tech sector as recession fears mount © Reuters. The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
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(Reuters) - The massive job cuts by Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN), one of the biggest private employers in the United States, show the wave of layoff sweeping through the tech sector could stretch into 2023 as companies rush to cut costs, analysts said on Thursday.

As a demand boom during the pandemic rapidly turns into bust, tech companies shed more than 150,000 workers in 2022, according to tracking site Layoffs.fyi, a number that is growing as growth in the world's biggest economies start to slow.

"More layoffs are certainly possible ... given the scale of investment we saw in 2020-21, we would probably think that some degree of caution is probably appropriate," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

Coming out of a global pandemic, job cuts in 2022 surged 649% from 2021, led by for technology companies, according to executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The drop in demand amid a steep rise in borrowing costs has led several executives from the sector to admit they hired in excess during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:META) axed 11,000 jobs last year, with Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg saying he had wrongly expected that the pandemic boom would keep on going.

Tech giants Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have already hinted at cost-cuts, including layoffs.

Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) Inc top boss Marc Benioff said on Wednesday the enterprise software company had hired "too many people" as he announced plans to cut 10% of the jobs.

For Amazon, growth in its cloud unit that brings most of its profit has slowed as businesses cut back spending, while its online retail unit is reeling from strained consumer budgets due to rising prices.

The growing crisis has brought back memories of the dot-com bubble at the start of the century and the 2008 financial crisis when tens of thousands lost jobs.

"Some of us will remember 2000 to 2003 after a massive bubble fed by cheap money, high investor expectations and plentiful cash," said Mould. "Whether we see a repetition or not will be very interesting as there is a danger of that."

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    EUR/USD 1.0848 Neutral  
    GBP/USD 1.2677 ↑ Sell  
    USD/JPY 150.26 Sell  
    AUD/USD 0.6550 ↑ Sell  
    USD/CAD 1.3496 Neutral  
    EUR/JPY 163.00 Neutral  
    EUR/CHF 0.9549 Neutral  
    Gold 2,044.65 ↑ Sell  
    Silver 22.835 ↑ Sell  
    Copper 3.8530 ↑ Sell  
    Crude Oil WTI 77.69 Buy  
    Brent Oil 81.71 Sell  
    Natural Gas 1.743 ↑ Sell  
    US Coffee C 179.03 Neutral  
    Euro Stoxx 50 4,877.35 Buy  
    S&P 500 5,069.53 ↑ Sell  
    DAX 17,506.95 ↑ Buy  
    FTSE 100 7,690.91 ↑ Buy  
    Hang Seng 16,790.80 Neutral  
    Small Cap 2000 2,028.97 ↑ Sell  
    IBEX 35 10,101.56 Sell  
    BASF 46.865 ↑ Buy  
    Bayer 28.80 ↑ Buy  
    Allianz 245.73 ↑ Sell  
    Adidas 188.98 ↑ Buy  
    Lufthansa 7.297 ↑ Buy  
    Siemens AG 176.74 ↑ Buy  
    Deutsche Bank AG 12.267 ↑ Buy  
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