Entertainment company Disney announced on Wednesday said that it will lay off 7,000 employees, AFP reported. The move is part of the company’s effort to cut costs amid a loss of customers on its online streaming platforms.

Several US-based companies in the technology and online services sectors have laid off thousands of workers, dialing down on the spurt of hiring they did during the coronavirus pandemic.

As a number of services return to the physical space since the pandemic and the global economy showing signs of recession, several companies have decided to lay off employees they had hired over the last couple of years.

Disney’s annual report for 2021 showed that it had hired 1.9 lakh people as of October 2 of that year. The group’s streaming platform Disney+ saw its first ever decline in number of subscribers during the last quarter, AFP reported.

On Wednesday, Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said that the decision to lay off 7,000 employees was not taken lightly. “I have enormous respect and appreciation for the talent and dedication of our employees worldwide,” he said on a call with analysts after Disney posted its latest quarterly earnings.

Iger said that he was targeting to cut costs to the company by $5.5 billion and the layoffs would help in achieving the target, The Verge reported. He did not eleborate on the departments which the job cuts would affect.

Social media company Twitter had laid off 50% of its workers across the world in November while Meta fired 11,000 employees in the same month. In November, online retail giant Amazon had also announced 10,000 layoffs.

On January 5, the e-commerce company had announced it will lay off more than 18,000 employees. On January 18, technology company Microsoft laid off 10,000 of its employees. On Tuesday, online messaging platform Zoom Video Communications said it will remove 1,300 persons from its staff.