From Bengaluru (Bangalore) to Boston, high-tech workers are losing their jobs at a ferocious pace. So far in 2023, 23,550 workers have been laid off, roughly double the pace that saw 155,000 tech workers fired in all of 2022. (See which American tech companies laid off the most workers last year.)
Amazon boosted its total layoffs by 8,000 in the first week of this year, bringing its two-year total to 18,000, just over 1% of its total workforce of around 1.55 million. Salesforce announced cuts of about 8,000 in the same week (roughly 10% of its workforce).
Those two companies account for about two-thirds of the tech jobs on the block so far this year, and another 80 have announced cuts, according to Layoffs.fyi, a website that has tracked tech sector layoffs since 2020.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global has announced cuts totaling 950 positions. Five other crypto startups have said they will let 625 employees go, while three others have specified cuts as a percentage: Crypto.com will cut its workforce by about 20%, or about 700 to 900 workers; NFT marketplace SuperRare has announced a reduction of about 30%; and crypto payments firm Wyre is closing its doors.
Of the 82 companies that have announced layoffs in 2023, 22 are publicly traded, while most of the rest are venture funded. For example, Carta, an equity management platform, has received backing from Andreessen Horowitz, Silver Lake and Lightspeed Ventures. Carta was last valued at $7.4 billion and had received some $1.1 billion in venture funding.
Carta CEO Henry Ward laid some of the blame for the job cuts at the feet of the pandemic, but lawsuits and more competition also have played a role.
Roger Lee, the creator of Layoffs.fyi and a San Francisco-based HR tech company, told CNBC that more layoffs are likely on their way, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. Now, though, when the Fed is believed to be likely to slow down the increases, Lee said, “I do expect that that tech layoff swell will finally subside as well.”
Future tech hiring also slowed in December. According to CompTIA, tech hiring in the next year is forecast to reach 246,000 jobs. That is a decline of nearly 9% from the November estimate of 270,000.
Despite the bad news, staffing giant Manpower Group’s 2023 outlook indicates that 35% of IT organizations are optimistic about demand for new workers. That is the highest level of optimism for any category Manpower tracks.
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