Ctrl+Z: Big tech is undoing some of the massive hiring spree of recent years

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Undoing

The tech world was rocked by another round of layoff announcements last week after Microsoft and Google’s parent company Alphabet both confirmed they’d be slashing 10,000 and 12,000 jobs, respectively.

Across the wider tech sector, some ~46,000 workers have now reportedly been laid off this year — that’s 2,000 jobs axed every day of January so far at the time of writing.

Apple’s sweet

Big tech companies used 2022 to bolster workforces, but those headcount expansions have started to look overly-optimistic as the economy has turned.

Indeed, Alphabet upped its workforce by some 17% in 2022 compared to 2021. Meta and Microsoft went even further with their new hires, adding 19% and 20% to their workforces, respectively, in the same time frame. On a proportional basis, Meta has gone on both the largest hiring spree, and has announced the largest cuts, with the 11,000 lost jobs at Meta accounting for 13% of its workforce.

The only company in tech’s “big five” to have not announced layoffs in the last three months is Apple. That’s perhaps down to a more prudent “slow-but-steady” hiring policy over the last few years, which has ensured that the iPhone giant remains a firing-free haven in the technology sector… at least for now.

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