2023 Tech Industry Crisis? 200K Worker Layoffs From Jan-May

2023 Tech Industry Crisis? 200K Worker Layoffs From Jan-May

Through the pandemic, we’ve seen quite a lot of mass layoffs which have resulted in sudden unemployment for a lot of people. It may be caused by the long-term lingering economic effects of the lockdowns, or just the new workplace dynamics in this new normal. Well, it appears that this has been happening on a global scale too. Here’s why we think there might just be a tech industry crisis in 2023.

According to data gathered over at the Layoffs official site, just within the first five months of the year (doesn’t even cover half!), a total of 203,833 employees lost their jobs at the world’s most reputable tech firms. These companies number around 753, which brings us to an average of 271 employees per firm. While that may be a small number for some, that figure is already more than other companies’ entire staff lists. That’s also a significant upward trend from the 164K in 2022 – and that was for the entire year, not just the first half.

So basically, at this current rate, layoffs for the year will be MORE THAN DOUBLED from last year. 

If you study these charts, you’ll see that the second half of 2022 had a spike in terms of the companies with layoffs, but the actual number of employees let go wasn’t as significant. That trend only started to skyrocket in November 2022, moving into January 2023 when both figures achieved an all-time high. The current figure is mostly due to what happened in January, but it’s undeniable that it’s not an annual thing as Jan 2022’s figures don’t follow the same trend.

There’s just something about Q1 of 2023 that really forced companies to tighten their belts. When you think about it, the Russia-Ukraine scuffle happened some time ago, the chip shortage is at its end (if it isn’t ended already), and the economy’s beginning to bounce back from the onslaught of COVID-19. So why are layoff figures significantly higher than even during the crisis stages of the pandemic itself? Was it simply human compassion that kept hundreds of thousands of people employed during those tough times? This is where we begin to wonder if there’s a tech industry crisis in 2023.

Studying the industry charts, there’s no doubt that retail is leading and always has been. However, there have been some notable paradigm shifts such as changes in Crypto, HR, Hardware, et cetera. Maybe these things gained traction early in the pandemic, lost it in 2021/22, and had nothing left to lose by 2023 (Crypto). But it’s indeed notable that we can learn something from these figures if we look hard enough.

Who’s laid off the most in 2023?

As of now (according to the same site), Google leads the pack with its January 2023 layoff of 12,000 employees. Following that is Meta with 10,000 employees in March 2023, then Microsoft with another 10,000 also at the start of the year.

Amazon chipped away 8,000 employees in January 2023 and 9,000 more in March. Following that is Salesforce with 8,000 in January, Dell with 6,650 in February, Shopify with 2,300 in May, and PayPal with 2,000 in January.

The list is quite comprehensive so be sure to check it out – it even has the names of the employees who were laid off! With all this said, the tech industry crisis in 2023 may not be as grave as what these layoffs show because they’re immediately picked up by other companies and smaller startups anyways. But if these giants are bleeding out right now, then it’s a sign for what’s to come in the future.



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