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Tech firms brace for tough times with Stripe, Lyft to cut jobs while Amazon freezes hiring


LONDON – Tech companies are once again tapping the brakes on hiring as they contend with sluggish consumer spending, higher interest rates and the impact of a strong dollar overseas. 

Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it would pause adding new corporate workers, citing an “uncertain” economy and its hiring boom in recent years. Lyft Inc., the ride-hailing company, is going further: It will eliminate 13 per cent of staff, or around 683 people.

Twitter Inc.’s cutbacks are under particular scrutiny as new owner Elon Musk shakes up the social-networking business and pares roughly half its jobs.

Tech companies made moves earlier this year to rein in costs, with many of the industry’s biggest firms freezing hiring or cutting some departments. Even Apple Inc., which has outperformed most of its peers this year, is slowing spending and has paused much of its hiring. But some tech giants are finding that they now need to take more dramatic steps to trim their expenses.

More broadly, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Thursday that job-cut announcements were up 48 per cent year-over-year in October, with more layoffs “on the way.” A federal jobs report on Friday will give a clearer picture of US hiring trends. Even with the austerity, economists expect a net gain of 200,000 for non-farm payrolls.

Here are some of the latest companies to tighten their belts:

Amazon

The e-commerce titan halted “new incremental” hiring across its corporate workforce – a decision chief executive officer Andy Jassy and his team made this week. “We anticipate keeping this pause in place for the next few months, and will continue to monitor what we’re seeing in the economy and the business to adjust as we think makes sense,” according to Beth Galetti, Amazon’s top human resources executive. 

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Apple 

The iPhone maker has paused hiring for many jobs outside of research and development, an escalation of an existing plan to reduce budgets heading into next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The break generally doesn’t apply to teams working on future devices and long-term initiatives, but it affects some corporate functions and standard hardware and software engineering roles.

Chime

The digital-banking startup Chime Financial Inc. is cutting 12 per cent of its staff, or 160 people. A spokesperson said the company remains well-capitalized and the move will position it for “sustained success.”

Dapper Labs

Dapper Labs Inc. founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou said in a letter to employees Wednesday that the company had laid off 22 per cent of its staff. He cited macroeconomic conditions and operational challenges stemming from the company’s rapid growth. Dapper Labs created the NBA Top Shot marketplace for nonfungible tokens, a digital asset class that has seen a steep drop in demand since the crypto market downturn.



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