Amazon was the largest user of Ireland’s work permit system prior to the planned job cuts
Amazon was the largest user of Ireland’s work permit system in 2022, with more than a quarter of its workforce hailing from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
The retail and tech giant, which employs about 5,000 people across a range of businesses in Ireland, was granted 1,394 work permits for foreign workers last year, according to the Enterprise Department. The company, which just announced it is laying off more than 18,000 workers worldwide, accounted for 3.5 per cent of all work permits issued in Ireland last year.
Amazon’s total number of approvals was roughly equal to the sum of Google, Apple, and Facebook. The technology sector is one of the largest users of the work permit system, along with healthcare.
The news comes as Amazon said it would cut its workforce by much more than expected as the tech industry slump deepens.
Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy announced the cuts, which account for about 1 percent of Amazon’s employees, in a memo to employees on Wednesday, saying they were following the company’s annual planning process.
The eliminations began last year and were previously expected to affect about 10,000 people. The move focuses on the company’s corporate ranks, primarily Amazon’s retail division and human resources functions such as recruiting.
Although Amazon has faced the prospect of layoffs for months — the company has acknowledged it hired too many workers during the pandemic — the rising number suggests the company is bracing for a downturn. It joins other tech giants in making big cuts.
Earlier Wednesday, Salesforce announced plans to cut about 10 percent of its workforce and reduce its real estate holdings.
Cutting 18,000 workers would be the biggest cut yet for a tech company during the current slowdown, but Amazon also has a far larger workforce than its Silicon Valley peers. At the end of September more than 1.5 million people were employed.
Cutting 18,000 workers would be the biggest cut yet for tech companies during the current slowdown
At the time the company planned its cuts in November, Amazon had about 350,000 corporate employees worldwide, according to a spokesman.
The world’s largest online retailer spent the end of last year bracing for a sharp slowdown in e-commerce growth as shoppers returned to pre-pandemic habits. Amazon delayed opening warehouses and halted hiring at its retail group. It extended the freeze to the company’s employees and then began cuts.
Earlier this year, the online retailer opened its first fulfillment warehouse in Ireland in Baldonnell, Co. Dublin, as well as a second logistics center with a total of 500 employees.
Amazon’s European headquarters are in Luxembourg, but the company has built a strong presence in Ireland over the years since first opening an office here in 2004.
The Department for Enterprise issued a record number of work permits in 2022 after clearing a backlog of applications built up during the pandemic.
Nearly 40,000 permits for non-EEA nationals were approved during the year, more than double the 2021 figure.
Additional coverage, Bloomberg
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/amazon-was-biggest-user-of-irish-work-permit-system-before-planned-job-cuts-42265745.html Amazon was the largest user of Ireland’s work permit system prior to the planned job cuts