It's looking like another "year of efficiency" in tech.
Industry heavyweights like Google and Amazon are among those starting 2024 with staff cuts.
Over 13,000 tech jobs have already been slashed this year, according to Layoffs.fyi, and it's only January.
Tech workers earlier this month were quick to chime in on TikTok about a new source of anxiety in their lives: accidentally mistyping their passwords and being denied entry into their work laptops.
Workers described panic upon discovering that they couldn't log in, wondering if the job cuts had finally arrived at their doorsteps. Then, relief set in as they realized they just entered a typo.
For those workers, the scare was short-lived. But by the third week of the month, layoffs had become a reality for many in tech. More than 70 tech companies have swung the ax so far this year, affecting more than 13,000 workers, according to tracker Layoffs.fyi.
January is historically a common month for layoffs as companies adjust budgets and plans for a new year. With that in mind, the good news is the pace of layoffs hitting the tech industry isn't nearly as fast this January as last. In January 2023, more than 270 tech companies laid off nearly 90,000 employees, according to Layoffs.fyi.
So far this year, Google has cut hundreds of roles in its core engineering and hardware teams, and CEO Sundar Pichai said in an internal memo that was just the start, with more layoffs expected later in 2024.
Amazon is also cutting hundreds of jobs across several divisions, including 5% of its Audible audiobook and podcast division, as well as "several hundred" staffers from Prime Video and Amazon MGM Studios.
Amazon-owned streaming site Twitch is culling 35% of its workforce, or roughly 500 workers, with CEO Dan Clancy saying it's "clear that our organization is still meaningfully larger than it needs to be."
Messaging app Discord has announced a 17% head count reduction, affecting about 170 employees.
"We grew quickly and expanded our workforce even faster, increasing by 5x since 2020," CEO Jason Citron reportedly told staff of the company's growth. "As a result, we took on more projects and became less efficient in how we operated."
TikTok, YouTube, and eBay are among the dozens of other firms that have also announced layoffs this month.
The cuts show tech firms are still backpedaling from overhiring in the pandemic, as they shift their emphasis from growth to metrics like revenue-per-employee. This may just be another "year of efficiency" in the industry — and some of those failed logins on work devices might not only be from typos.
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