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Seattle is America's biggest company town thanks to Amazon.
The online giant has more office space than the city's next 40 biggest employers combined, the Seattle Times reported last summer. It's 8 million-square-footprint there is expected to grow to more than 12 million square feet in the next five years.
Well, that was last year. This year, Amazon is laying off people.
The Times, which is not Amazon-owned but operates in its shadow, says several hundred employees will loose their jobs at the Seattle headquarters. Hundreds more will be laid off elsewhere, primarily in the consumer retail end of its global enterprise.
When the layoffs are said and done, the company will still have about 40,000 people working in Seattle. And the company employees more than half a million in the United States.
"Hundreds of layoffs are modest for a company that is now the largest U.S.-based corporate employer, and pales in comparison to adjustments in recent years that saw Microsoft and Boeing eliminate thousands of jobs in a single cutting drive," the Times reported.
It is a rare move for the retailer, especially as it increased hiring over the past two years. That may have been part of the problem as some departments went over budget.
In the last few months, the company started hiring freezes. It cut the number of open positions -- 3,500 -- in half since last summer.
Techcrunch reports that Amazon is still growing in other areas. According to recent earnings reports, the company increased its global workforce by 66 percent over the previous year.
"We are making head count adjustments across the company -- small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others," the company said.
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