San Francisco, CA – February 6, 2024 – The year 2024 began with a wave of tech industry layoffs, with Google, Microsoft, and eight other companies cutting over 1,000 jobs combined in January. This news comes amidst concerns about an impending economic slowdown and follows a similar trend of job cuts seen in late 2023.
“These are difficult decisions, but they are necessary to ensure our long-term competitiveness,” said a Google spokesperson in a statement. The company declined to specify the exact number of job cuts but confirmed they affected primarily the advertising sales team. Google CEO Sundar Pichai previously warned employees in January to brace for more layoffs, citing “economic headwinds.”
Microsoft also confirmed job cuts in its gaming division, impacting approximately 1,900 positions. “As part of this process, we have made the painful decision to reduce the size of our gaming workforce,” said Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer in an internal memo. The company attributed the decision to streamlining operations and focusing on new projects.
Other companies reported similar measures, including Salesforce eliminating 700 roles and online retailer REI laying off 357 employees.
Experts point to several factors contributing to the current hiring freeze, including:
- Economic uncertainty: Rising inflation and interest rates are leading companies to tighten budgets and re-evaluate their spending.
- Pandemic hiring correction: Many tech companies went on a hiring spree during the pandemic, and are now adjusting their workforce to match slowing growth.
- Tech slowdown: Concerns about a broader tech industry slowdown are also fueling caution and cost-cutting measures.
“These layoffs are a clear sign that the tech industry is not immune to the broader economic challenges we are facing,” said industry analyst Sarah Johnson. “While some companies may be looking to weather the storm by reducing their workforce, others are still investing in innovation and growth areas.”