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Tech layoffs continue despite over 300,000 job openings in the U.S. - Why is this happening?

person holding box of belongings after tech layoff

In recent years, the tech industry has seen significant advancements and transformative innovations in AI, machine learning, cloud computing, and more. Many big tech companies grasp onto these new technologies and their intriguing abilities and applications, hoping to pursue extreme growth in their operations at all costs. However, as economic uncertainties loom for these companies, it might be time for them to fully embrace a more efficient method of growth. This allows growth in a way that reinforces current profit margins as well as revenue in the long-term. 

Big tech companies are coming to terms with the fact that new technologies like Artificial Intelligence are very costly, and many of these organizations are left making cuts to their staff. According to tech layoffs tracker, 271 companies have laid off 78,572 workers so far this year. 

Why are tech companies continuing to lay off workers?

Despite 353,000 jobs being added to the U.S. economy at the start of this year, many tech companies have continued to make cuts to their staff. Around that same time, companies including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft laid off many of their employees. More recently, Tesla had laid off 14,000 workers, over 10% of its workforce, as competition forced the company to have to cut costs. Dell cut 6,000 employees in March, which amounts to over 5% of their workforce. So why does this keep happening?

Several tech companies are under pressure from investors to increase their overall profits after Wall Street’s sell-off of tech stocks in 2022. Many employees were laid off as these companies worked to win back investors, and now they are aiming to “find efficiencies and do more with less,” according to Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky. In other words, big tech is looking to get more work out of fewer people, and cutting the costs of these employees helps improve stock value. 

An additional reason for tech layoffs comes in the form of the most popular feat of technology in recent times - AI. While it may be argued that AI does not replace human jobs, only enhances them, some tech workers are not in complete agreement. This is especially true following several companies like Google and Meta removing certain perks for their employees, and the difficulty laid off workers have when trying to return to the tech industry. Big tech companies shifting to powerful automation caused many workers to feel as if they are not valued by these organizations, especially as 47% of companies surveyed by CNBC say that AI is their top priority for tech spending over the next year. These technologies are incredibly costly, and there are many companies that are choosing to expend their budget and resources on them rather than their workers. 

Efficient growth & managing costs

As the economy continues to be affected by inflation and rising costs, tech companies look to find an effective way to stay competitive while also keeping within their budgets. Aside from laying off more of their employees, several tech companies are strategically implementing new technologies like generative AI with a more conservative approach. Rushing into big advancements can have negative financial repercussions, so it is wise for companies to take them one step at a time. Staying up to date with new trends in AI and machine learning will help tech companies remain competitive, however sticking to a focus on cost control remains a priority for these organizations. 

Big Tech is known for high spending as well as superior advancements in technology. Many companies expanded too quickly in light of the post-covid tech boom. These advancements unfortunately have the potential to come at the cost of their employees as some companies start to turn towards a more efficient method of growth instead. Many uncertainties linger in the tech industry - will big tech companies continue to layoff large amounts of workers? Will they ever slow their quick adoption of new AI technologies, even as their costs become significant? 

Sedna Consulting Group has been connecting great talent with tech companies for two decades, specializing in the vast realm of IT. Connect with us if your company is in need of those with specialized tech skills - visit us on LinkedIn or Instagram to learn more.



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