‘It’s an Employer’s Market’: Laying Off Tech Employees May Have Turned Great Resignation Into Great Pledge

A wave of big tech layoffs has once again upset the dynamics between employers and workers, workers and executives say, leading to prolonged and widespread job searches. widens the fears and anxieties of many in the industry.

“It’s an employer market after years of employees benefiting from working from home [and] more jobs with higher wages and perks,” said Angela Bateman, who is looking for a job after being laid off by educational technology company Osmo in November. “Employers are reasserting their dominance — Disney

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[are] require workers to be on site three or four days a week.”

On Friday, Alphabet Inc’s Google. is the latest tech giant to contribute to the uncertainty, announced the elimination of 12,000 jobs just two days after Microsoft Corp.

announced the reduction of 10,000 positions. The two join a long list of companies that have announced layoffs in recent months, including Salesforce Inc.
The parent company of Facebook Meta Platforms Inc., Inc.
Cisco Systems Corporation
Intel Corporation
HP Corporation
Coinbase Global Inc.
Spotify Technology Co

and Snap Inc.

For more: A MarketWatch tally tech companies laying off thousands

As laid-off workers struggle to find new jobs, many executives believe it can make people more willing to stick with their current companies. Former Cisco CEO John Chambers sees it this way: The Great Resignation, in which tech workers jump from one high-paying job to another, has become the Great Pledge.

“A career used to be two years at a company. That’s been the case for over a decade,” Chambers, now a venture capitalist, told MarketWatch. “Now, the last person to be hired is the first to be fired. There has been a shift in employees re-evaluating their commitment to companies, with an emphasis on culture. There is significantly less revenue.

But while tech executives foresee a renewed commitment to work, casual workers see tensions escalate amid job cuts, mandating at least three hours of work. days a week at the office and expect to be more productive with fewer resources. They say they are now more inclined to stay with their employer and give up the job-hopping of the past few years, instead of looking for a year-long job amid fewer job openings and competition. increase.

Alex Gammelgard, a San Francisco-based Marketing Manager who previously worked at TrustedHealth. During her months-long job search, Gammelgard told MarketWatch, she “found that pretty much everything was closed” since Thanksgiving.

“I saw on LinkedIn that a position would have 100 to 500 applicants within a week, which is more than usual, so it shows the impact of the Tech layoffs,” she said. big are.

In total, more than 56,500 tech jobs – nearly all in the US – have been cut this year, according to data from, and more layoffs are coming. In 2022, there were 97,171 job cuts, a 649% increase from the previous year, according to a report by consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Also read: ‘It’s not sustainable or realistic’: Tech layoffs approach Great Recession levels

The sudden purge of tech jobs has cast doubt on employers after years of perks and dizzying hiring. About 69 percent of those who were recently laid off did not receive any form of support from their former employer, and 60 percent said they were less likely to trust their next employer, according to a report. reported at the end of November. survey out of 2,162 American workers by BizReport.

“As soon as Meta announces it will cut 11,000 [in November], others in Silicon Valley soon followed,” Bateman told MarketWatch. “It seems to open a floodgate; they are just waiting to cut.

‘Muskification’ is changing the outlook

Technology executives warn that layoffs are likely to continue as companies scale back operations amid slumping sales. Workers laid off by smaller companies face the prospect of competing for jobs with tens of thousands of former Big Tech employees now scouring job sites.

Todd Erickson has applied for 70 vacancies since leaving Phase Change Software startup in October, after six years with the company. He only received feedback on 10 of them.

“It was a rough couple of months,” Erickson told MarketWatch. “I have a role to do whatever needs to be done, including tech writing, legal work, and web development, and not develop expertise that could be useful in this job market.”

Adding to the frustration is the listings on job sites that seem to be nothing more than “fishing expeditions,” job openings that are nonexistent by recruiters looking for talent. not related to the specific job description, Gammelgard and others say.

First: Big Tech layoffs aren’t as big as it seems

One consequence of the current job crisis in the tech sector, Schiffer predicts, is that some job seekers may have to look for work outside of the industry. He said: “The ‘radiochemical’ of employee compression has caused tech companies to rethink their human capital deployments, referring to Elon Musk’s moves since buying Twitter in October. “We are in a downswing cycle after years of redundancy.”

Freshworks Inc.

CEO Dennis Woodside, a veteran of Google, Impossible Foods Inc., Dropbox Inc.

and Motorola Inc.

The removal of 22,000 jobs by Google and Microsoft last week “caused a lot of problems for tech job seekers” who weren’t developers or programmers, said Eric Schiffer, CEO of the holding company. private sector Organization, told MarketWatch. “There is a lot of pain to come.”

Tech workers may be more needed at nontech companies

The news isn’t all bad, though. Other industries covet tech workers and the job market remains strong, with the unemployment rate at a multi-decade low of 3.5% in December, according to economists. Employment Opportunity and Labor Turnover, reported monthly by the U.S. Office of Labor Statistics. Even Silicon Valley added nearly 13,000 workers in December and had an unemployment rate of 2% that month, according to an analysis by the Silicon Valley Ventures Regional Institute.

“Another point that I have been trying to make for two years [was that] the rest of the economy is lacking in technology,” Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Friday. “They can’t get enough technical workers. So you know, guess what? There’s a lot of tech workers out there now that are available for hire by the rest of the economy to get the job done.”

He added: “So I think there’s going to be a fair redistribution of tech talent in the rest of the economy, unlike some other sectors.”

Damien Daurio, who lost his job at DirecTV last summer, has found work as a software contractor for Charles Schwab Corp.

with help from recruiters and placement companies. Thanks to his skills in managing software projects, Daurio says, finding another job is easier than a non-technical position.

Meanwhile, others who have recently left tech jobs see opportunity in the current environment. Donna Estrin left the cybersecurity industry in October and started consulting in November. “My thinking is that if people quit, companies will hire contract workers and not replace full-time employees. time,” she told MarketWatch. “Companies still need to get work done, so they will need consultants.”

Muddu Sudhakar, CEO of software company Aisera, is expected to lay off staff for at least the first half of 2023, prioritizing AI-enabled technology like his company, which has given allow the company to increase recruitment.

But not all job seekers are successful. Erickson, who has stopped having knee surgery because he doesn’t have full health insurance, said the outlook is “pretty barren”. “I just applied to Microsoft,” he said, “but I doubt it will work, with 10,000 employees laid off.”

MarketWatch staff writer Gregory Robb contributed to this article.


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