Opinion: The Big Contradiction at the Heart of the Tech Downturn Read Now

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Bloomberg.
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Layoffs, Hiring Freeze Spread Through Tech

By  |  May 4, 2022 5:00 PM PDT
Photo: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Bloomberg.

Things really are turning brutal for tech workers. We scooped the news today that Cameo laid off a quarter of its workforce, just the latest example of the layoffs spreading through tech. Also today, Business Insider reported that Meta Platforms has instituted a hiring freeze through the end of this year (more on that from us here), while The Information revealed that Netflix is reining in its freewheeling approach to how much it pays people. Both stories follow Amazon’s astonishing revelation last week that it is now overstaffed in its warehouses. Tech labor may be becoming more of a buyer’s market than it has been.

And these examples may be the tip of the iceberg. Growing signs of economic strains—the Fed raised interest rates today by the largest amount in 20 years today—are likely to force more companies in different parts of tech to cut costs. The implications are interesting to contemplate. For one thing, a softer labor market could weaken the hands of employee activists at big tech companies, those workers who in recent years have tried to dictate to their employers the kinds of products they should sell, whom they should sell to and whether they need to work from an office again. 

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