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US 2022: Technology companies are now "laying off waves"


Title: United States 2022: Technology companies are now "laying off waves" China News Agency reporter Liu Guanguan Technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area have been considered the strongest "locomotive" of the US economy for many years.

(Washington Observation) United States 2022: Technology companies are now "laying off waves"

  China News Agency, Washington, December 18th, title: United States 2022: Technology companies are now "laying off waves"

  China News Agency reporter Liu Guanguan

  Technology companies in the San Francisco Bay Area have been considered the strongest "locomotive" of the US economy for many years.

Especially after the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, various traditional industries have been severely impacted, and the technology industry has made great progress with its own advantages.

However, it appears that the powerful locomotive was "put on the brakes" in November this year.

  Since 2022, many technology companies in the United States have launched unprecedented layoff plans.

In November, the "wave of layoffs" reached its peak.

On the 3rd of the same month, the executives of the online payment company Stripe and the travel sharing company Lyft announced a layoff plan of 14% and 13% respectively in letters to their employees.

The next day, Twitter executives confirmed in a tweet that about 50% of the company's workforce had been fired.

  Just when people were amazed at the intensity of Twitter's layoffs, on November 9, Meta CEO Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees that he had decided to reduce the size of the company's team by about 13%, more than 11,000 employees will be dismissed.

In addition, the company has extended the hiring freeze to the first quarter of 2023.

  On November 17, Amazon CEO Jassy told employees that the company's current layoff plan will continue until 2023.

According to multiple media reports, Amazon's current round of layoffs is expected to affect about 10,000 people.

Five days later, HP announced in its quarterly earnings report plans to cut at least 4,000 to 6,000 jobs over the next three years.

On November 30, the food delivery giant DoorDash announced that it would lay off 1,250 people.

  According to data released on December 1 by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an American employment consulting company, American companies announced a total of 76,835 layoffs in November this year, a year-on-year increase of 417%.

Among them, the technology industry announced layoffs of 52,771 people, setting a record since the company began to collect relevant data in 2000.

In the first 11 months of this year, the total number of layoffs of US technology companies reached 80,978, a year-on-year increase of 535%, and the scale of layoffs hit a new high in 20 years.

  Chen Chuanchang, a Chinese software engineer who has worked for a technology giant in Silicon Valley for more than ten years, told a reporter from China News Agency that he received a layoff email in November and found that the company's office system and welfare facilities were no longer available.

"In fact, I have been doing very well these years, but our department is no longer valued by the company." He said, "Although the overall layoff of the department is sudden, it is also expected."

  Chen Chuanchang, who claimed to have experienced long-term anxiety before this unemployment, was not in a hurry to "find another home".

He said that when technology companies lay off employees, they usually pay a few months more salary and benefits.

In addition, Chinese colleagues will recommend jobs to each other.

Finding a new job isn't difficult for a software engineer with years of work experience.

  Chen Chuanchang said that in this round of "layoffs", young people who have been laid off are under greater pressure.

Because of their low qualifications, these people have no advantage in the labor market.

Some of them are working in the United States with H-1B visas. If they cannot find a job within two months, they will leave the United States.

In addition, even if there are companies still recruiting, the scale is limited.

Some young people have difficulty finding the opportunities they want.

  According to Chen Chuanchang, those who kept their "jobs" during this round of layoffs were also uneasy, because "no one can be sure when the next layoff will come."

  American media analysis pointed out that from the perspective of the overall economic environment, factors such as the Fed’s interest rate hike, rising energy prices, and the sharp appreciation of the US dollar have all led to the continuous spread of large-scale layoffs to a certain extent.

In addition, the decision-making mistakes of some corporate executives are also the direct cause of the "tide of layoffs".

For example, Meta has invested heavily in the field of "Metaverse", but the output results are not as expected, and large-scale layoffs have become a helpless move.

  In addition to internal and external reasons such as the “cooling” of the overall U.S. economic situation and executive decision-making mistakes, Han Qin, who works as an executive at a small technology company in Silicon Valley, gave an important reason for this round of layoffs—“over-recruitment.”

Han Qin told reporters that after the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, people's work and life gradually shifted to online, and the traffic of major technology giants soared.

These companies believe that high traffic will be the norm in the future, so they have started a crazy recruitment mode.

However, as the focus of people's work and life returns to offline, the traffic on various platforms has shrunk sharply, and previously over-recruited employees have become redundant.

  Zuckerberg's letter to employees also confirms this statement.

“At the start of the pandemic, the world quickly moved online, with a huge increase in revenue from the surge in e-commerce. Many predicted that this would be a permanent acceleration that would continue even after the pandemic was over. I thought so too, so decided to Significantly increased investment. Unfortunately, things did not go as I expected. E-commerce returned to previous trends, and the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and advertising business decreased revenue far below expectations." He said, "I was wrong Yes, I am responsible for it."

  The data shows that the number of Meta employees has soared from more than 48,000 in March 2020 to more than 87,000 in September this year.

At the end of 2019, Amazon had nearly 800,000 full-time and part-time employees.

That number jumps to 1.6 million by the end of 2021.

  In Han Qin's view, although the layoffs of major technology giants are astonishing, it is still open to use words such as "brake", "winter" and "recession" to describe the status quo of the industry.

"During the global financial crisis in 2008, 'Big Macs' like Lehman collapsed, but none of the current technology giants has gone bankrupt." He said, "It is true that many companies are laying off employees, but there are also companies that are hiring. People, it's not scary, what's scary is that all companies are laying off workers."

  Han Qin believes that this year's wave of layoffs should be regarded as the "adjustment" and "optimization" of technology companies' previous "over-recruitment".

"This process will be long, and maybe now is just the beginning." (End)

Source: chinanews

All news articles on 2022-12-18

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