Slow and steady wins the race. It’s a trope we’ve all heard, but apparently the white-collar workers of the tech sector have ignored this lesson.
The tech sector saw unprecedented growth during the pandemic. And they’re about to pay for it, according to Bloomberg.
Economists now fear companies in the tech and financial sector will be some of the hardest hit during a much-anticipated potential recession in 2023. Those employees working from home, those of the “laptop class,” which saw fast growth during the pandemic, should now be worried about layoffs next year.
Or maybe even sooner. Which means the “laptop class” might want to start preparing now.
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Future uncertainty for laptop class
It’s already happening with several companies announcing massive layoffs in recent weeks. This includes Netflix with 480 layoffs, Patreon with 17% of its workforce and Twilio with 800 layoffs, all within September alone.
All of these companies fall into the tech sector, an industry that boomed during the pandemic with the work-from-home white-collar workforce becoming the “laptop class.” It’s now become more clear that this once-strong sector is due for a [major correction]( during next year’s recession.
It won’t just companies that fall into this specific sector, but white-collar professionals who mainly work from home as a whole. There was an increase in the need to bring work online during the pandemic. Now, with restrictions lessened more than ever, those needs simply aren’t necessary anymore.
Or at least, not as necessary. There’s been an uptick in 30- to 90-day work contracts for these professional positions. All while employers are starting to lay off workers that came on during the pandemic and aren’t a day-to-day necessity any more.
Other types of jobs seeing big gains
What’s interesting is that this does seem to be the start of a “white-collar recession,” something Americans haven’t experienced since the early 1990s, according to economists.
In fact, the reverse proves true for those in the blue-collar sector. While the white collar sector has shrunk in the first half of 2022, other employers added 315,000 jobs in August.
The pandemic led to millions in layoffs for those in traditionally blue-collar sectors, such as mining, hospitality, manufacturing and transportation. Stay-at-home orders meant many were furloughed or laid off with no work for the foreseeable future.
Today is a different story, with companies not just able to return to normal, but needing to pick up the slack from the last few years of little to no work. This occurs in every part of traditionally blue-collar industries, from mining to restaurants.
A rocky year ahead for some
As for what comes next, there are worries a recession could lead to a decrease in spending — something that has previously impacted restaurants and other service industries. But economists believe Americans are sitting on enough savings that restaurants will remain part of the budget, especially as they save money by staying away from high-interest loans and mortgages.
Those in the food service industry in particular still have more growing to do. In fact, food-service employment is still 630,000 jobs lower than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting even more growth to come, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There’s a similar case for those in the airline industry, as well as other areas of the market that went down during the pandemic and are starting to recover.
Unfortunately, the “laptop class” isn’t one of them. So if you’re part of this sector, brought on during the pandemic hiring frenzy, it might be time to brush up on your resumé.
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