Just this week, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Microsoft (MSFT) and Vox Media announced layoffs that will affect more than 22,000 workers.
Their moves follow job cuts earlier this month at Amazon, Goldman Sachs and Salesforce. More companies are expected to do the same as firms that aggressively hired over the last two years slam on the brakes, and in many cases shift into reverse.
The cutbacks are in sharp contrast to 2022, which had the second-highest level of job gains on record, with 4.5 million. But last year’s job numbers began falling as the year went on, with December’s job report showing the lowest monthly gains in two years.
The highest level of hiring occurred in 2021, when 6.7 million jobs were added. But that came on the heels of the first year of the pandemic, when the US effectively shut down and 9.3 million jobs were lost.
The current layoffs are across multiple industries, from media firms to Wall Street, but so far are hitting Big Tech especially hard.
That’s a contrast from job losses during the pandemic, which saw consumers’ buying habits shifting toward e-commerce and other online services during lockdown. Tech firms went on a hiring spree.
But now, workers are returning to their offices and in-person shopping is bouncing back. Add in the increasing likelihood of a recession, higher interest rates and tepid demand due to rising prices, and tech businesses are slashing their costs.
January has been filled with headlines announcing job cuts at company after company. Here is a list of layoffs this month – so far.
Google (GOOGL)’s parent said Friday it is laying off 12,000 workers across product areas and regions, or 6% of its workforce. Alphabet added 50,000 workers over the past two years as the pandemic created greater demand for its services. But recent recession fears have advertisers pulling back from its core digital ad business.