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Big Tech layoffs persist while workers struggle to navigate new opportunities

The news: Groupon, Intel, and Workday are laying off more workers, indicating that the fallout from a slowing economy continues. 

Tech companies laid off more than 77,000 global workers in January, per Layoffs.fyi, nearly half the total of 159,684 tech employees laid off in all of 2022. 

Here’s what we’ve learned from the latest layoffs:

  • Groupon cut 500 employees in its second round of layoffs, per TechCrunch. The company, which also cut 500 jobs, or 15% of its workforce, in August, will spread layoffs across the first two quarters as part of its restructuring plans. 
  • On the heels of a brutal quarterly earnings report, Intel said it planned to lay off 340 workers from its Folsom, California, campus, citing a “challenging macroeconomic environment,” per KCRA.
  • Workday, which makes productivity software, announced it was eliminating 3% of its global workforce of 17,000 employees, per Bloomberg. Cuts are focused on its product and technology organizations.

Employees are left to wrestle with employment uncertainty, but other companies are standing by to scoop up the talent. 

  • “Demand has just shifted from the Big Tech industries to smaller companies, as well as other industries like education, health care, government, [and] financial services,” Megan Slabinski, a Bay Area district president of tech at staffing firm Robert Half, told Fortune.
  • German companies see the layoffs in Silicon Valley as an opportunity to recruit top talent, per Reuters. “They fire, we hire,” said Rainer Zugehoer, chief people officer at Cariad, a Volkswagen connected car subsidiary. “We have several hundred open positions in the US, Europe, and China.”

Layoffs are damaging pandemic-era diversity initiatives: Recent layoffs have scrubbed the attempts to boost employee diversity, per The Washington Post

  • Women represent about 39% of the overall workforce but 46% of all layoffs since September, per Layoffs.fyi.
  • Many companies grew the ranks of women and minorities during the pandemic, mostly through the lure of remote work opportunities. 
  • Because they were newer to their jobs, and occupied roles that companies were less interested in retaining, women and minorities have been particularly vulnerable to layoffs, per Fast Company.

Our take: Unlike previous layoff cycles in tech, the post-pandemic fallout is happening at a time of wider economic uncertainty, which means fewer laid-off workers will opt to start their own businesses. 

There could be a redistribution of talent to other industries or even other countries as evidenced by Germany’s pursuit of tech workers. 

 

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.