Other companies are licking their chops to finally be able to hire tech workers.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
Amazon made the news today on reports based on sources that it is laying off up to around 10,000 full-time employees, or less than 1% of its 1.5 million employees worldwide; after Meta announced it would lay off 11,000 people, or about 13% of its workforce; after Twitter laid off 50% of its 7,500 employees worldwide and, in a second wave this weekend, canceled 4,400 to 5,500 contractors. This comes after months of small-scale layoffs in ‘tech’ – and ‘tech’ these days is anything that makes up part of its online business, used car dealerships (carvana) to taxi companies (Lyft).
But where are these layoffs?
For example, Twitter. It has offices all over the world. Its 50% announcement included its staff in India. It had over 200 employees in India and over 90% have been laid off.
Then there are H1-B visa holders. Technology employs a large number of them. Twitter didn’t specifically address this, but Meta did. They only have a certain amount of time to find another sponsoring employer, and if they don’t find one, they will lose their visa and have to leave the country.
Twitter also laid off 784 workers in San Francisco, where it is headquartered, according to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) law filings with the state; it laid off 106 employees in San Jose; and 93 in Santa Monica.
According to the WARN law filed with the state of Washington on Monday, 208 Twitter employees were laid off in Seattle. The layoffs are scattered across the United States and around the world.
The roughly 4,400 to 5,500 contractors who were laid off over the weekend were based around the world, including India.
Twitter has adopted working from home as a permanent approach. Employees who lived in San Francisco before the pandemic may have moved to inland California or other states. Others could have turned into digital nomads, working in a tropical paradise.
Meta had also switched to working from home for many employees. Of those 11,000 employees Meta is laying off, 362 will come from an office in San Francisco, according to supervisor Matt Dorsey, citing a WARN Act notice the city had received.
In total, about 2,564 of Meta’s 11,000 global layoffs will occur in the Bay Area, according to the California Employment Development Department’s WARN Act notices.
It was those works were located. But maybe not where the people are situated. This does not mean that these employees actually lived in the Bay Area. Some might have moved within California or other states, and some might be working from Mexico or Thailand or elsewhere.
Amazon: after hiring 800,000 people in two years, laying off 10,000
Amazon is an e-commerce retailer and a brick-and-mortar retailer with its Whole Foods Market stores; it’s also a technology company because of its cloud division, AWS. But it’s not about laying off at AWS.
According to the report, published first by The New York Times and later by others including The Wall Street Journal which later cited its own sources, the cuts will primarily affect company staff, not warehouse staff. . Much of the layoffs will be in Amazon’s retail division, human resources and its devices division, which makes Alexa smart speakers, among other gadgets, and has 10,000 employees. The retail division had already imposed a hiring freeze in October.
Since the first quarter, Amazon has reduced its huge 1.5 million global workforce by attrition of about 78,000 jobs. And attrition has become easy, given the massive turnover in the general workforce, the large number of people leaving their jobs to take better jobs, and the large number of job openings that companies were aggressively trying to fill. The jump in employment has been richly rewarded: while the wages of people who stay in their jobs increased by 7.7%, the wages of people who change jobs jumped by 15.2% in October, according to the ADP’s National Jobs Report.
And the layoffs of up to 10,000 people at Amazon are minor compared to the 800,000 people hired by Amazon during the pandemic boom – from late 2019 to late 2021 – the biggest boom ever for e-commerce. And it’s just that a little common sense comes down to management.
In recent weeks, Amazon has already canceled contractors who work in recruiting, according to sources cited by the WSJ.
A bit of common sense returns to the most distorted job market ever.
There is now a long list of “tech” companies that have laid off people. Mortgage lenders have been laid off since late last year when their mortgage refinance business began to fade [read, Mortgage Lender Woes]. If you are looking for a job in mortgage banking, it will be difficult. But there are plenty of other jobs available in finance.
And layoffs don’t mean these people won’t work. Many of them are inundated with inquiries from recruiters – even though the jobs may not pay as well as what they had at Meta, Twitter or Amazon.
There are plenty of non-tech companies aggressively seeking tech workers: automakers hiring like maniacs for their new electric vehicle divisions, industrial companies, small businesses, and more. They’ve been pushed aside by Big Tech with its huge salaries and huge stock compensation packages.
These less glamorous companies have a lot of tech jobs to fill, and have struggled to fill, and now they’re breathing a sigh of relief because they have a better chance of being able to hire talent, although those former Amazon, Twitter and Meta-workers may complain about the lower quality of these jobs compared to their former jobs. But it’s the kind of thing that brings some sanity back to this most distorted job market ever.
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