business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times this morning reports that "Amazon is freezing corporate hiring in its retail business for the rest of the year … The announcement, in an email to recruiters, said the company was halting global hiring for all corporate roles, including technology positions, in its stores business, which covers Amazon’s physical and online retail business and its logistics operations. More than 10,000 openings were posted in that division, which accounts for the bulk of Amazon’s sales, as of Monday evening."

The Times notes that this makes Amazon just "the latest company to pull back amid the economic uncertainty … The freeze at the nation’s second-largest private employer is part of a wider cooling in the job market, or at least another sign that it is no longer at a raging boil."

Brad Glasser, a company spokesman, said that “Amazon continues to have a significant number of open roles available across the company,” and said that Amazon expects "to keep adjusting our hiring strategies in each of these businesses at various junctures."

The company will continue to hire for Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud computing business, and for its warehouses.

CEO Andy Jassy has told investors and analysts that the company is focused "on controlling costs and efficiency in its warehouse and logistics operations."

KC's View:

In some ways, this is a game of three-card-monte.  People are still being hired, but won't go on the payroll until January.

Jassy seems to be very much about right-sizing the business, which means being able to trim the sails at the right moment while still making necessary progress.  I don't think this is a bad thing - Amazon will still make big bets, but making sure that everybody in the organization understands that the gravy train doesn't run forever also has to be important.