Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) data is indicating massive layoffs
The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988 requires most companies with 100 or more employees to provide a 60-day advance notification of mass layoffs to employees. Data is collected from 23 states and aggregated into a national time series. This provides a leading indicator of national job loss two months ahead. In May of 2023, advance layoff notice levels surpassed pre-COVID averages and are expected to continue rising in anticipation of a recession.
The Information Sector is highly vulnerable
The Job Loss Risk Index, displayed in the accompanying figure, ranks industries based on their vulnerability to job losses. A higher index score indicates a greater risk, with 10 representing the highest risk and 1 denoting the lowest. This score provides a relative ranking of each industry’s susceptibility to layoffs.
According to the index, the information services, transportation and warehousing, construction, and repair/personal/other services sectors face the highest risk of job losses. On the other hand, the government, private education services, health care and social assistance, and accommodation and food services industries have the lowest risk of job losses.
It’s important to note that while the index assesses the likelihood of job losses, it does not estimate the magnitude of layoffs within each industry.
Read More in Detail: Recession Threatens More Layoffs in Manual Labor and Information Sectors
While technology companies made significant layoff announcements last year, the situation in 2023 has taken a turn for the worse. Thus far, the number of layoffs has surpassed those that occurred throughout the entirety of 2022. Tech giants such as Amazon, Meta (the parent company of Facebook), Microsoft, Google, IBM, SAP, and Salesforce, along with numerous smaller companies, have revealed extensive job cuts.
The root of the problem lies in Big Tech’s hiring frenzy during the pandemic, driven by the surge in remote work and the increased demand for technology in e-commerce. However, the current challenge they face is declining revenue, leading to the need for substantial workforce reductions.
Compilation of tech layoffs in 2023
In 2023, once again, hundreds of thousands of tech workers have lost their jobs due to widespread layoffs. This time, prominent tech giants such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, Meta, and Zoom have been driving the workforce reductions. Even startups across various sectors, ranging from cryptocurrency to enterprise SaaS, have announced cuts in their workforce.
The rationale behind these job reductions follows a familiar pattern, citing the overall economic conditions and the necessity to maintain discipline while navigating a turbulent path towards profitability. Tracking these layoffs provides insights into their impact on innovation, which companies are facing significant pressures, and identifies potential candidates for businesses fortunate enough to experience growth in this period. Unfortunately, it also serves as a reminder of the personal toll of layoffs and how risk profiles may be shifting going forward.
Below, you will find a comprehensive and regularly updated list of all the documented tech layoffs that have taken place in 2023.
- January: 84,714 employees laid off
- February: 36,491 employees laid off
- March: 37,109 employees laid off
- April: 17,926 employees laid off
- May: 14,555 employees laid off
Tech layoffs by Industry
Download the full list – company-wise here
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