What happened now? Another company has joined the long list of tech giants laying off employees. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, said it was cutting 12,000 jobs worldwide, about 6% of its global workforce. The news comes just days after Microsoft confirmed it would be liquidating 10,000 positions.
Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told employees that the cuts, which will affect jobs across the organization, come after a thorough review of the business. The CEO said he takes “full responsibility for the decisions that brought us here.”
Severance pay for US employees includes at least 16 weeks of pay, their 2022 bonus, paid time off, and six months of health insurance. Pichai thanked the staff for their “hard work” and their “invaluable” contributions.
“While this transition will not be easy, we are going to support employees in their search for the next opportunity,” Pichai said. “For now, please take care of yourself while you take in this difficult news. As part of that, if you are just starting your day at work, please feel free to work from home today.”
Working in technology is now a risky profession. Many companies have increased their headcount significantly during the pandemic to cope with increased demand for their services at a time when many people are stuck indoors. Most firms thought they could sustain this level of growth, but 2022 proved to be a terrible year for the economy as inflation and interest rates soared and consumers cut their spending.
In addition to layoffs at Microsoft and now Alphabet, Amazon recently confirmed it would lay off a record 18,000 people, blaming the volatile economy and rapid recruitment during the pandemic.
There were more layoffs in the tech industry in the first week of January than in all of December. According to consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc (via bloomberg), nearly 97,171 tech workers have lost their jobs in the US since the start of 2022, up 649% from the previous year, and that’s not counting the ones Alphabet just announced.
Alphabet’s third-quarter profit fell 27% year-on-year to $13.9 billion, leading to staff cuts and calls for investors to cut costs more aggressively. Alphabet shares rose 1.8% in premarket trading after the layoffs were announced.