Clouds Over Silicon Valley: Layoffs Mount, Reaching 32,000 in 2024

After going on a hiring spree during the COVID-19 pandemic, many tech companies are starting to pare back. This isn’t a surprise, given that the pandemic and rising interest rates have made it more difficult for these companies to borrow money and keep their operations running smoothly. So far this year, some 32,000 tech workers have lost their jobs.

The layoffs haven’t just been in big tech firms, either. Smaller startups have also been getting hit, with most layoffs occurring in the United States. In January alone, almost 21,000 tech workers were laid off. That was much more than the other industries that saw layoffs that month. The only industry that saw more layoffs was the financial sector.

Some of the most notable tech layoffs this month include the photo messaging app Snap, which announced on Monday that it would cut staff at its global headquarters in Redmond, Seattle, and Issaquah. The company cited “unprecedented challenges” as the reason behind its decision, which will reduce its workforce by around 10%. Meanwhile, software company Splunk reduced its headcount by around 7%, laying off employees across the United States.

Another big company to shed workers was security firm Malwarebytes, which told its staff that it would cut 100 positions. The company cited its ongoing efforts to become profitable and said that the changes were part of a “long-term plan” to focus on its core business.

The list of companies that have made cuts goes on and on. A robot process automation platform called Automation Anywhere cited the pandemic as a reason for laying off more than 1,000 employees. At the same time, HR and payroll software provider Zenefits blamed the economic fallout from COVID-19 for reducing the number of its customers. Facebook parent company Meta also laid off a significant portion of its staff in its metaverse custom silicon unit, affecting roughly 600 employees.

Despite the layoffs, many workers who have lost their jobs are finding new ones fairly quickly. According to a report from ZipRecruiter, 79% of people laid off in the tech industry found a new job within three months of being fired. That’s a much better outlook than during the dot-com bust in 2001, when most laid-off workers never found a job again. Still, the economic problems continue to ripple into the tech industry, and things will probably not return to normal soon. This could mean it will be a while before tech startups see the kind of job creation they had hoped for during this period. It will be easier for them to compete with their larger rivals. Tech companies need to be able to turn their ideas into natural products that can earn them actual profits.

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