Big Companies, Big Layoffs


Layoffs are a harsh reality that many American workers must face. (HR Daily Advisor)

Sophia Chen, Managing Reporter

Major tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Amazon, have announced that they plan on laying off thousands of employees over the course of 2023. The trend is that many big tech companies are downsizing, while medium and smaller ones are, for the most part, getting by. Even Micron, which is headquartered in Boise, has announced that they plan on slashing about 10% of its workforce in 2023, which would affect around 4,800 employees. The COVID pandemic back in 2020, as well as heightened economic inflation, are the primary causes of these large-scale job cuts.

The news from these mass-layoffs may be alarming to workers in the tech industry. According to USAToday, from the start of 2022 to the beginning of 2023, Amazon laid off 18,150 (1.2%), Microsoft laid off 10,000 (4.5%), Alphabet – the parent company of Google – laid off 12,000 (6.3%), and Meta laid off 11,000 (12.7%) employees. There’s a lengthy list of other large corporations that are included on the mass-layoff list such as Yahoo, NPR, Zoom, Spotify, and PayPal.

A key factor in these cutbacks was overhiring during the pandemic. There was a sharp transition to working online, and with people being quarantined and stuck at home, more time was spent online. Because of the greater demand for technology, several tech enterprises made higher revenues and decided to hire many more workers. According to CNN, from 2019 to 2022, Amazon grew by 106%, Meta grew by 103%, Alphabet grew by 64%, and Microsoft grew by 53%. However, now that conditions are pretty much back to normal, where many people are returning to work in-person and students are revisiting school, technology use is much lower. Because demand is decreasing, businesses are laying off a significant portion of their employees to save money and get rid of superfluous workers. Investors of these companies further pressure them into laying off. Beyond the pandemic overhiring, economic inflation has been a major problem for businesses, and companies are predicting a potential recession in the future. Evidently, there are many forces at work when it comes to companies downsizing.

Locals of Boise are impacted too. Micron, which employs more than 5,000 employees in Boise and employs about 48,000 people worldwide, announced that it would not only be shrinking its workforce by 10%, but also that bonuses would be suspended in 2023. According to CNBC, the CEO of Micron, Sanjay Gupta, announced that Micron has too much in supply and too little in demand. As well, Micron stocks have been plummeting. This is leaving workers anxious about what’s to come.

Many people believe that jobs in the tech industry have a much greater job security than in other sectors. However, that might not be the case. Sure, there are many smaller and medium sized groups that are faring well, but with the growing competition in the tech industry and shrinking demand for many technologies, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that no one’s job is guaranteed.