Walmart recently announced it will be laying off more than 2,000 employees at five US warehouses that fulfill website orders. The retail giant is cutting jobs in Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New Jersey, citing the need to adjust staffing levels to better prepare for the future needs of customers.
The news of the job cuts comes as Walmart warned that it is in for a tough year ahead. While Walmart has stated it is working closely with affected associates to understand what other positions may be available, the news of the layoffs has been met with criticism from labor advocates and workers.
This is the first time Walmart has had to make such large-scale layoffs, in contrast to their e-commerce rival Amazon, who has eliminated roughly 30,000 jobs since the beginning of the year.
The layoffs come at a time when the retail industry is facing a difficult economic outlook. With the pandemic continuing to cause disruption and job losses, many are concerned about what this means for the future of the retail industry.
The job cuts also highlight the need for better support for those who are laid off. Without a strong safety net, workers are vulnerable to long-term economic instability.