There appears to be no end to the wave of layoffs sweeping across industries - big and small - all over the world as a reflection of a worldwide economic downturn. Perhaps, it is the recent widely reported collapse of the American-based Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) that lends the most credence to the state of the global economy.
A close examination of this global economic trend that has resulted in an all-time layoff craze reveals that big tech companies and Wall Street titans are leading a wave of layoffs in America as companies try to contain costs to ride out a global economic downturn.
Sharp interest rate hikes and weak consumer demand have forced companies such as Amazon, Walt Disney, Meta Platforms – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – and US banks to cut their workforces.
Tech companies laid off more than 150,000 workers in 2022 amid a sharp slowdown in demand due to the pandemic, according to the tracking website Layoffs.fyi.
More layoffs are expected as growth in the world’s biggest economies slows.
Below is a breakdown of layoff distributions across these corporate giants:
- IBM Corp: The IT group will cut about 3,900 jobs, or just over 1% of its workforce, in layoffs linked to its strategic shift in direction.
- Spotify Technology SA: Music streaming service Spotify is cutting 6% of its workforce or about 600 jobs.
- Alphabet Inc: Alphabet Inc is cutting 12,000 jobs, its chief executive said in a memo.
- Microsoft Corp: The US tech giant said it would cut 10,000 jobs by the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2023. The company laid off fewer than 1,000 employees across various divisions in October, Axios reported, citing a source.
- Amazon.com Inc: The e-commerce giant announced that company-wide layoffs will affect more than 18,000 employees.
- Meta Platforms Inc: Facebook’s parent company has announced it will cut 10,000 jobs (13% of the workforce), just four months after laying off 11,000 employees.
- Intel Corporation: Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger told Reuters the staff would be part of a cost-cutting plan. The chipmaker said it will cut costs by $3 billion in 2023.
- Twitter Inc: The social networking company has laid off at least 200 workers, or about 10 per cent of its workforce, the New York Times reported. The layoffs come after Twitter laid off about 3,700 people, representing about half of its total workforce, in November shortly after Elon Musk bought the company.
- Lyft Inc: The company said it would lay off 13 per cent of its workforce, or about 683 employees, after already cutting 60 jobs earlier this year and freezing hiring in September.
- Salesforce Inc: The software company said it would lay off about 10% of its employees and close some offices as part of a restructuring plan, citing a challenging economy.
- Cisco Systems Inc: The networking and collaboration solutions company said it will undertake a restructuring that could affect about 5% of its workforce. The restructuring will begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2023 and will cost the company $600 million.
- HP Inc: The company said it expects to cut up to 6,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2025.
- Workday Inc: The software company will cut about 500 jobs, or 3% of its workforce, citing a difficult macroeconomic environment.
- NetApp Inc: The cloud company has announced an 8% cut in its global workforce. The company had 12,000 employees on April 29, 2022.
- Rivian Automotive Inc: The company is laying off 6% of its workforce in an effort to cut costs as the EV maker, already facing dwindling cash reserves and a weak economy, prepares for an industry-wide price war.
- Match Group: Tinder’s parent company announced it will lay off about 8% of its workforce, a day after it forecast first-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations.
- Dell Technologies Inc: The company will cut about 6,650 jobs, or 5% of its global workforce, as the PC maker grapples with falling demand and braces for economic uncertainty.
- Palantir Technologies Inc: The data analytics company announced that it has cut about 2% of its workforce. Palantir, known for its work with the CIA, had 3,838 full-time employees as of December 31, 2022.
The layoff trend is truly a disturbing one.
Can this be an indication of things falling apart in our beautiful world or that of crass mismanagement occasioned by unbridled hubris in high quarters of corporate management?
There is an urgent need for governments of the world to proceed on an economic retreat to look into these ugly trends and ways to check them to avert a worse-case global implosion.
Perhaps too, these world leaders may need to look in the direction of the side effects of the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war on the global economic space and ways to mitigate them.
Let a stitch in time save nine.