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'Hundreds' of employees at Amazon's headquarters out of a job

Amazon may be preparing to build a second headquarters, pitting various cities against each other with the promise of staggering amounts of new jobs —but that doesn't mean the jobs of its current corporate employees are necessarily safe.

Jeff Bezos with Amazon logo

The retail giant will lay off several hundred employees at its Seattle headquarters as well as hundreds more elsewhere, the Seattle Times reported Monday, with the company confirming the layoffs shortly thereafter. The move follows hiring freezes in some parts of the company earlier this year.

The layoffs began Monday and will continue for "a few weeks." The company's recent rapid growth has "left some units over budget and some teams with too much staff for their work" according to Amazon.

"As part of our annual planning process, 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 in a statement. "For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring."

The retail firm has whittled the list down from 238 initial applicants to 20, according to a statement. The list of contenders consists of 19 cities in the United States and one in Canada, with the list generally skewing towards the East Coast, the opposite side of the country to Amazon's existing headquarters in Seattle, WA.

The winning candidate stands to benefit from an influx of high-paid jobs, with Amazon claiming up to 50,000 employees may work at "HQ2" once it's operational. Amazon also plans to spend more than $5 billion on the new facility, an expenditure in the same ballpark as Apple Park, Apple's newest headquarters.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, was reported by Forbes as the richest man in the world earlier this month, with a net worth of $112 billion.