Jan 30, 2023 | Post by: Vikki Pachera Comments Off on Putting Tech Layoffs into Perspective

Putting Tech Layoffs into Perspective

Yesterday I sat down with 4 Wall Street Journals from the week, catching up. The take away was confusing–several articles about tight talent market, several more on tech layoffs, a couple on productivity, workers not putting in the hours they used to, that sort of thing.

NYU’s Scott Galloway did an interview recently which put a context on these tech layoffs. “Patagonia Vest Recession” as he dubs it makes for great headlines. It’s a very tough barrier to entry to join a FANG brand, the pay is the very significant, of course there’s a number of haters.

Galloway said the layoffs are basically an artifact of getting way ahead of the skis in hiring. Amazon hired a staggering ~500K people in 2022, Google hired 8K in Q3 alone. So 18K layoffs at Amazon, 12K at Google, we’re roughly back to 2021 headcount or higher.

I have a lot of respect for people like Pat Gelsinger who I’ve met, but am bewildered on how PC sales, as just one example, could be projected to increase when people were buying every 5 and 6 year old and older child a PC at the start of of the pandemic for distance learning. Of course there would be a slowdown. No one needs a new laptop every year.

There’s been a number of articles as well that suggest companies are taking back power. That’s the byproduct of reductions, not the main driver. I could write a book, maybe I will, about all of the ridiculous demands and ‘asks’ people have now.

Employees always had an ask, it used to be an additional week off, guaranteed bonus, pet insurance, things along that line. Last year candidates didn’t flinch when asking to work a 6 hour days or less. “I want my ‘me’ time”. Companies want that ‘go getter’, the person who goes above and beyond. Maybe the power balance will shift and that might be a good thing.

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