Google plans to cut 12,000 jobs as tech layoffs ramp up

Google is laying off 12,000 employees and becomes the latest technology company to cut staff after rapid expansions during the COVID-19 pandemic wear off.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai shared the news Friday in an email to staff at the Silicon Valley giant that was also posted on the company’s news blog.

“The past two years have seen periods of dramatic growth,” Pichai wrote. “To match and drive that growth, we hired people for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

He said the layoffs reflect a “rigorous review” of its operations by Google. The jobs being cut “cross Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions,” Pichai said.

The cuts represent just over 6% of Alphabet’s workforce, which numbered 186,000 in September, according to a securities filing. Like many major tech companies, Alphabet added thousands of employees during the pandemic and is now cutting costs ahead of a possible economic recession later this year.

Dismissed employees in the US receive severance pay starting at 16 weeks’ salary plus two weeks for each additional year at Google, as well as six months of health care, job placement and immigration support.

Pichai added, “As a nearly 25-year-old company, we will undoubtedly experience difficult economic cycles. These are key times to sharpen our focus, redesign our cost base and refocus our talent and capital on our highest priorities.”


Microsoft joins list of technology companies to announce sweeping layoffs

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Earlier this week, Microsoft announced 10,000 job cuts, or nearly 5% of the workforce. Also in January, Amazon said it would cut 18,000 jobs, Facebook parent Meta announced it was cutting 11,000 jobs, and software maker Salesforce said it would cut 7,000 employees. Netflix, Peloton, Twitter and other industry players have also announced significant layoffs or reduced hiring in recent months.

“All the tech giants have now gotten into the layoff game,” Wall Street analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge said in a report, adding that “countless others are also cutting jobs.”

The job losses also affect smaller players. UK-based cybersecurity firm Sophos has laid off 450 employees, or 10% of its global workforce. Cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase has cut 20% of its workforceabout 950 jobs, in its second round of layoffs in less than a year.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the tech industry shed the most jobs of any industry last year and will cut nearly 100,000 jobs by 2022 after booming during the pandemic.

“We are seeing workforce cuts of 5% to 10% across the tech sector as many of these companies (both large and small) are spending like 1980s rock stars and now need to rein in cost containment ahead of a softer macro,” said Wedbush. So said securities analyst Dan Ives in a research note.

Economic growth has slowed as the Federal Reserve moves to sharply raise its benchmark interest rate in an effort to curb inflation. While experts predict a slowdown in the labor market this year, hiring in the US has remained robust. The unemployment rate of the country dropped to 3.5% in Decembercorresponding to a 50-year low.

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