Why Tech Industry Layoffs Aren’t Going Away

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Will tech industry layoffs slow down this year? Why are companies cutting jobs? What can tech workers do to navigate the rocky landscape?

Thousands of tech professionals are out of work as industry layoffs persist in 2024, raising concerns about the sector’s stability. Big tech companies, including Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta, have announced more layoffs for the future, prompted by post-pandemic hiring corrections and strategic pivots to focus on AI.

Here’s a closer look at who’s getting laid off and why.

Layoffs Continue Into 2024

Tech industry layoffs continue to ripple in 2024, putting thousands out of work and sparking concerns about another tough year ahead for the sector.

2024 Tech Sector Layoffs

Since the start of 2024, tech companies have laid off nearly 11,000 workers. This figure, while significant, pales in comparison to the historic contraction of 2023 when the industry cut 262,682 jobs

Big tech firms that have already slashed staff or announced future layoffs include: 

  • Alphabet, which cut 1,000 jobs in its advertising, engineering and Google Assistant divisions, and expects more layoffs ahead.
  • Amazon, which has shed hundreds of entertainment studio roles. 
  • Microsoft, which will slash 1,900 video game division jobs.
  • Twitch, which plans to downsize its workforce by 35%.
  • Meta, which has laid off 60 technical program managers and says it will continue to adjust staffing to address priority areas.
  • Google, which is eliminating several hundred ad sales roles.
  • eBay, which plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs, or 9% of full-time employees.

Why Companies Are Cutting Jobs

Experts attribute tech companies’ current downsizing trend to several factors, including:

  • Post-pandemic corrections. After rapid hiring to meet increased demand during the pandemic, companies like Alphabet are now cutting jobs to appropriately size their workforce as demand wanes. 
  • A desire to increase profitability and pivot toward AI. Tech firms like Meta and Dropbox are trimming teams and projects as part of a strategic move to reduce costs, streamline operations, and shift focus towards AI.
  • Falling inflation. With prices no longer rising rapidly, tech companies are finding it harder to increase the price of their services. This situation, coupled with constrained consumer spending, is compelling them to lay off workers to maintain financial stability.

Impact and Responses to the Layoffs

Workers and lawmakers have raised concerns about the impact of ongoing tech industry layoffs. Some point to morale issues within tech firms once revered as top places to work. Others express shock over companies’ abrupt dismissal of employees. Still others say they’re alarmed at the disproportionate impact of layoffs on the African American community and women, who they say are overrepresented in the tech sector’s workforce reductions. 

In response to these concerns, some lawmakers have urged the Department of Labor to closely monitor workforce reductions and take greater action to protect at-risk workers.

Tech companies have defended the layoffs as essential to improve efficiency, and some say they’re aiding displaced workers in their job searches. But experts warn that continued workforce cuts could deter prospective employees, undermining these companies’ ability to attract new talent.

This shift appears to be already in motion: A survey in 2023 found that 60% of tech professionals were contemplating leaving their tech jobs in 2024, a significant increase from 52% the previous year. A separate report affirmed this trend, revealing that  60% of tech talent was already working in non-tech firms.

Looking Ahead

To navigate the uncertain landscape, experts offer the following recommendations for tech workers: 

  • Embrace adaptability. Future-proof your career by staying updated on the latest industry trends, technologies, and skills relevant to your field.
  • Reskill for AI. AI-related skills are critical for survival and career advancement in the tech industry.
  • Nurture human skills. Cultivate skills whose value is growing and that are difficult for AI to replicate, including creativity, empathy, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Why Tech Industry Layoffs Aren’t Going Away

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Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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