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Tech Turbulence: 32,000 Job Cuts Rock the Industry
Explore the ongoing wave of tech industry layoffs in 2024, with over 32,000 job cuts reported.
The tech industry has kicked off 2024 with yet another wave of job cuts, revealing the continued impact of economic factors and evolving industry dynamics. Layoffs.fyi, a startup tracking job cuts since the pandemic, reports that over 32,000 tech workers have lost their jobs this year, signaling a significant workforce shift.
Snap Inc. recently joined the list of companies making cuts, announcing a 10% reduction in its workforce, affecting approximately 540 employees. This follows earlier announcements from Okta Inc., which plans to eliminate 7% of its staff, impacting around 400 employees. Major players like Amazon.com Inc., Salesforce Inc., and Meta Platforms Inc. have also implemented workforce reductions.
According to Layoffs.fyi founder Roger Lee, this year's layoffs are part of tech companies' efforts to correct for over-hiring during the pandemic surge. The prolonged high-interest rate environment and tech downturn have contributed to a more extended correction period than initially expected.
There have been two notable waves of job cuts in recent years, according to Lee. The "early Covid" spike occurred from the first to the second quarters of 2020, followed by the "interest rate hike" effect ongoing since the second quarter of 2022. Lee notes that this year's layoffs are typically smaller and more targeted compared to the broader layoffs experienced a year ago.
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While economic factors remain a primary driver of tech layoffs, the race for artificial intelligence (AI) talent is emerging as a significant factor. Many companies cite a shift in resources towards AI talent as a reason for workforce restructuring. Job postings related to artificial intelligence or requiring AI skills have increased, reaching 17,479 in January, according to CompTIA.
Despite the job cuts, the industry is actively hiring in specific areas. CompTIA reports a substantial month-over-month increase with 33,727 active job postings in January, reflecting the tech industry's resilience and adaptability.
Bert Bean, CEO of staffing company Insight Global, acknowledges the uncertainty in the market but anticipates a rebound in the coming quarters, particularly if the Federal Reserve adjusts interest rates.
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