In the media

Analysis: What’s behind mass layoffs in warehouse, tech sectors

By Marcy Kreiter

The Food Institute

27 March 2023

Shanton Wilcox, US manufacturing lead at PA Consulting, comments on how layoffs at large retailers are affecting manufacturing facilities in The Food Institute.

This article was first published in The Food Institute

The article notes that as the U.S. Federal Reserve attempts to slow the economy in the battle against inflation, major e-commerce, tech companies and other businesses have announced tens of thousands of layoffs. Is the wave of job cuts over, or is it just the tip of a major overhaul as automation increases?

In recent months, Amazon has announced some 27,000 layoffs while Google parent Alphabet announced 12,000 and Facebook parent Meta announced 11,000. Shanton says that the current round of layoffs at big box retailers and e-commerce sites likely does not represent a push toward further automation since the warehouse facilities were highly automated when they opened.

He continues: “So these layoffs are due to a general reduction in e-commerce business levels as consumers adjust to inflation, job losses and other competing priorities.”

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