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Elon Musk is citing worries over possible fluctuations in the economy as the reason he wants to cut the workforce at Tesla down by 10%, which was revealed in an email he sent to executives.

According to reports, a leaked internal email the founder sent out late on Thursday (June 2nd) was entitled “pause all hiring worldwide”. The billionaire wrote that there was a need to reduce salaried workers at the automotive company by ten percent, writing that he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy.  Musk also wrote that “hourly headcount will increase.” Currently, Tesla and their subsidiary companies have an employee count of almost 100,000 according to their SEC filing from last year. There are 5,000 advertised job openings at the company online. “Note, this does not apply to anyone actually building cars, battery packs or installing solar,” he also wrote in the email to executives.

The news comes days after another email sent by Musk decreed that all employees who were working from home must return to work in the office for 40 hours a week or they’d immediately be fired. “The more senior you are, the more visible must be your presence,” said Musk in the email. “That is why I lived in the factory so much – so that those on the line could see me working alongside them. If I had not done that, Tesla would long ago have gone bankrupt.” This was in response to Tesla staffers who had concerns about having the physical capacity to have all employees present in the office full-time, pointing to the company’s rapid expansion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry observers have speculated that Musk’s latest email about job cuts is an attempt to cut staffing levels given the billionaire’s recent struggles. Tesla’s stock value went down 3% after news of the email broke, following a 22% drop in the wake of Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, which has currently stalled. Another concern potentially fueling the call to cut jobs lies in the current COVID-19 lockdown affecting China – Tesla has a major plant in the city of Shanghai.