The employment landscape remains bleak as the new year dawns, with the downturn of the past year showing no signs of abating.
The global economic malaise has unleashed a veritable deluge of job losses, as tech firms large and small have been forced to make harsh cutbacks.
In 2022, nearly a thousand companies in the tech sector let go of more than 150,000 employees worldwide, with even industry titans like Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Twitter, and Intel feeling the pinch.
Tragically, the new year has brought little respite, as the number of workers who have lost their livelihoods in the first week of 2023 has already surpassed 30,000 - a harrowing statistic that nearly doubles the total layoffs from the entirety of December 2022.
Top companies driving the layoff race in 2023
As the new year begins, the job market's descent into turmoil persists, with industry titans like Amazon leading the charge in a brutal round of layoffs. The e-commerce giant, helmed by Jeff Bezos, has announced plans to cut a staggering 18,000 roles, surpassing even the belt-tightening measures of rivals like Meta, that had previously announced plans to trim 11,000 jobs.
Data from Layoffs Tracker reveals that a staggering 30,611 individuals from 30 different companies have been unceremoniously let go in the first six days of January alone.
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Financial giant Goldman Sachs, under the leadership of CEO David Solomon, has also announced plans to embark on a round of layoffs, with rumors of cutting up to 3200 employees causing alarm among staff.
Adding to the maelstrom, Salesforce has also announced its intentions to lay off 8,000 employees, or 10% of its workforce, a move attributed by CEO Marc Benioff to the rapid expansion during the COVID pandemic.
Job tracking firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas Inc, has noted a particularly sharp spike in tech sector layoffs in November, with over 53,000 individuals losing their jobs.
Video hosting platform Vimeo and crypto exchange Huobi are among the many other companies that have followed suit.
Big entities apart, small firms are also not immune to layoffs. Adobe has also announced to cut down about 100 jobs, concentrating on sales. Chime Financial Inc, which is a digital-banking startup, has also announced a cut of 160 jobs. Video hosting platform Vimeo announced via LinkedIn that the company would be laying off 11 per cent of its staff amid ‘difficult times’. Leading crypto exchange Huobi is looking to layoff around 20 per cent of its workforce.
Twitter, which was taken over by Elon Musk in October 2022, has suffered some of the deepest cuts of its peers right now. The social media platform has eliminated about 3,700 jobs by email. Another social media giant, Meta, also slashed 13 per cent of the company’s workforce, laying off 11,000 people.
Tesla announced that it had axed 200 of its 350 employees working on Autopilot, the seeming crown jewel of Tesla. In June of 2022, Netflix laid off 300 employees after losing subscribers for the first time in more than a decade.
Soundcloud, a music streaming company, also laid off staff, impacting 20 per cent of the company. Major news aggregator Flipboard also let go of 24 workers, or 21 per cent of its staff.
More layoffs on the horizon?
With the tech industry facing another round of job cuts as companies like Cisco Systems, HP Inc, Twitter, and Seagate Technology reportedly reduce their workforce, companies cite the need to adjust to current market conditions and boost profitability as the reason behind those swelling layoffs.
Going by the trend, there is trepidation in the market about the possibility of more layoffs.
As companies that experienced rapid growth during the pandemic now look to curb spending and trim their workforce, it seems that this may only be the beginning.
Headlines are rife with rumors of more cost-cutting measures and downsizing to come, but the true extent of the impact on employment remains to be seen.
The numbers of those laid off are already staggering, but it remains to be seen whether this will translate to a broader impact on employment numbers across the sector.