An employee cleans the windows at Apple’s new Guangdong Road store in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China.
Shaume Oleros | Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Many big tech companies are laying off workers amid growing fears of a recession. But the downsizing comes after several years of rapid expansion.
on Wednesday, microsoft announced that Eliminate 10,000 employeescutting its workforce by 5%, Amazon began implementing layoffs that ultimately cut 18,000 jobs.
Microsoft and Amazon Join the tech industry include alphabet When meta We have also reduced staff in recent months.
While there is some variation among companies, most companies laying off cite macroeconomic conditions and the possibility of a future recession as reasons for tightening.
But an underestimated factor is how rapidly technology companies have expanded their employment over the past two years.
In 2020, the widespread COVID-19 lockdown made internet applications more important to people, and the business of many tech companies was heating up. As sales and profits continued to grow in 2021, they continued to add a huge number of employees in hopes that the success they saw would set a new baseline. It didn’t work. Growth has slowed and businesses are now being forced to recalibrate.
Apple is the big exception, having not seen a significant increase in adoption over the past two years, nor has it announced any layoffs.
A review of SEC filings shows how quickly the other biggest tech companies grew during the pandemic.
microsoft 221,000 full-time employees at the end of June 2022, the latest official figure available. This is a surge of his 40,000 employees from the same period in 2021 and his 22% increase in staff. The year before, Microsoft added his 18,000 employees, an 11% increase.
In a note about Microsoft’s layoffs, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said the tech sector had to spend money to keep up with growing demand during the pandemic.
“Redmond had to recruit aggressively like rock stars in the 1980s and spend money like rock stars in the 1980s to keep up with the dizzying demand,” Ives said Wednesday. wrote in the memo.
Amazon It’s more complicated than Microsoft because it has a huge hourly labor force in its warehouses, as well as head office employees found in most tech companies.
Still, Amazon will grow ferociously in 2021, adding 310,000 jobs. We expanded further in 2020, growing by over 38% and adding half a million employees.
Overall, Amazon reports 1.6 million employees as of the end of December 2021, of which about 300,000 have corporate jobs.
In a note to employees Wednesday, Amazon executives said the Covid-era expansion was one reason for the cuts.
“During Covid, our number one priority has been to scale to meet the needs of our customers while ensuring the safety of our employees. We are extremely proud of the work of this team during this period. Amazon’s head of retail, Doug Herrington, said in a note. Obtained by CNBC“While other companies may have been hesitant by the short-term economic conditions, we have prioritized investing in our customers and employees during this unprecedented time.”
meta (formerly Facebook) has added thousands of employees each year since it went public in 2012 (according to SEC filings).
In 2020, Meta added over 13,000 employees, a 30% increase, making it the biggest hiring year in the company’s history. In 2021, he added a further 13,000 employees. It was his largest two-year expansion in Facebook’s short history when measured by total head count.
alphabet, Previous Google hasn’t cut as many positions as other big companies, but in recent weeks, 240 positions at Verilyits Health Science Division, and 40 laid off at IntrinsicRobotics Division.
But while Alphabet’s recent cuts are much smaller than some other companies, its growth has been huge as well.
In 2021, Alphabet added over 21,000 employees. That’s a 15% increase over the year to a total of 156,500 employees. In 2020, we added over 16,000 employees, an increase of nearly 14%.
However, this growth predates the pandemic, as Alphabet has added headcount by at least 10% each year since 2013 and added more than 20% new employees in 2018 and 2019.
apple It grew much more slowly during the pandemic. In fact, Apple’s adoption over the last few years has followed the same general trend since 2016.
As of September 2022, Apple has 164,000 employees, including both corporate employees and retail staff in stores. However, this is only a 6.5% increase from the same period in 2021, equivalent to real growth of 10,000 employees. Apple also hired cautiously in 2020, and in his year to September 2021 he added less than 7,000 employees.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Doug Herrington’s name.
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