Amazon issuing pink slips in rare layoff

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After an intense few years of growth, hundreds of corporate workers at Amazon (AMZN) are getting pink slips.

The layoffs are underway at the online retailer’s Seattle headquarters, as well as hundreds more in other parts of Amazon’s global operations, a person with knowledge of the cutbacks told the Seattle Times, which first reported on the downsizing. 

The layoffs come primarily in the company’s consumer retail businesses, two people told the newspaper.

While the size of the payroll cut is modest given Amazon’s size, trimming jobs is an unusual move at what is now the second-biggest U.S.-based employer.

The downsizing follows a hiring spurt that had the company’s Seattle headquarters going from 5,000 employees in 2010 to more than 40,000 people.

Amazon confirmed that cuts were taking place, saying in a statement that it was “making head count adjustments across the company.”

Shares of the online retailer were up 3.6 percent on Monday afternoon.

Separately, Amazon plans to start a service delivering packages from businesses to consumers in Los Angeles in coming weeks, ahead of a broader launch later in the year, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources.

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