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tech layoffs: Tech layoffs surpass Great Recession levels, set to get worse in early 2023

Mass layoffs by tech companies this year alone have surpassed the level of the Great Recession the world experienced in 2008-2009, which began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

In 2008, technology companies laid off about 65,000 workers, and a similar number of workers lost their livelihoods in 2009, according to data from global outplacement and career transition firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

By comparison, 965 tech companies around the world have laid off more than 150,000 workers this year, surpassing levels seen in the Great Recession of 2008-2009.

Led by companies like Meta, Amazon, Twitter, Microsoft, Salesforce and others, technology layoffs will worsen early next year amid ongoing global macroeconomic conditions. According to a report from MarketWatch, layoffs are part of a strategy by tech companies to remain viable through 2023 and beyond.

Data from layoffs.fyi, a crowdsourced database of tech layoffs, showed that 1,495 tech companies have laid off 246,267 workers since the onset of Covid-19, but 2022 was the worst year for the tech sector and early 2023 could be even grimmer.

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As of mid-November, more than 73,000 workers in the US technology sector have been laid off in massive job cuts led by companies such as Meta, Twitter, Salesforce, Netflix, Cisco, Roku and others.

More than 17,000 technical employees have also been dismissed in India.

Big tech companies such as Amazon and PC and printer HP Inc have joined the global layoff season and are set to lay off more than 20,000 and up to 6,000 employees respectively in the coming days.

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Networking giant Meta has started cutting nearly 4,000 jobs worldwide.

Google is reportedly bracing for mass layoffs early next year, and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly failed to provide any assurances to worried Google employees that it won’t happen.

In a company-wide meeting with staff, Pichai said, “It’s very difficult to predict the future, so unfortunately I can’t sit here honestly and make forward-looking commitments”.

He told employees that what the company is trying hard to do is “make important decisions, be disciplined, prioritize where we can, rationalize where we can, so that we are ready to better weather the storm, no matter what lies ahead.”

“I think we should focus on that and do our best,” Pichai added.

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