Massive tech layoffs at high-profile companies can spark a wave of panic, but mass layoffs are cyclical because they are dictated by changing economic conditions.
Moreover, big company jobs are only a fraction of the tech jobs, many of which are in obscure companies and government agencies outside of technology that rely on workers to keep them afloat.
Estimates of job losses range from 175,000 to 225,000 in this round of layoffs, a much larger base. The 225,000 layoffs represent just 4.3% of Statista’s estimated total of 5.2 million US tech jobs.
Of the total layoffs in the tech sector, only a small percentage were H1B workers in India – it’s unlikely that all layoffs will be in this field only. However, the biggest threat to the estimated 400,000 Indians on temporary H1B work visas comes from the backlog of green cards that Congress has failed to address.
Wait times for green cards, permanent resident status based on employment, as long as 90 years for Indians are out of the question Biden. According to a survey by the Carnegie Foundation, 36% of the 400,000 H1B visa holders have held the visa for 10 years. This puts them in a bind, making them vulnerable not only to headline layoffs, but to day-to-day layoffs that happen year-round, in smaller numbers, while their children come of age and lose their visa status.
The history of mass layoffs shows a cyclical pattern due to financial coercion, business restructuring and technological change.
The last time mass layoffs were during the Great Recession in 2009, when 174,000 jobs disappeared, according to sources tracking tech employment, after 695,581 workers were laid off during the dot-com bust in 2001. fired.
Only a fraction of the 400,000 Indians on H1B visas will be affected compared to the total — it’s unlikely that all of the layoffs will be Indians on temporary work visas.
IBM, which announced 3,900 layoffs, laid off nearly 10,000 workers in 2009. Microsoft cut 14,000 jobs in 2014, announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs in 2009, and this round of layoffs plans to eliminate 10,000 jobs. Microsoft previously hired about 75,000 people in 2014. The last three years.
Even Google laid off at least 340 employees in 2009.
The layoffs in 2009 were caused by causes outside the technology sector as a result of the collapse of the financial sector and the slump in real estate.
The 2001 layoffs came as the tech industry was overvalued and realized it couldn’t deliver on inflated promises. The factors behind the current layoffs are a combination of both – the effects of the recession attributable to the fallout of Covid, inflation, higher interest rates, even the fallout from the war in Ukraine, and overbuilding. What the tech industry has been through for the past two years is only a temporary phase.
Shares of what is now Google, Alphabet, have fallen 39% in the last year, Microsoft has lost 33%, and Facebook’s Meta has lost about 70% of its value.
Such layoffs will happen again as U.S. companies are driven by short-term financial performance pressures, as well as technology and demand changes. Another way to look at the current layoffs is that tech jobs aren’t limited to tech giants grabbing the headlines that fall from the sky.
Banks, insurance companies, telecommunications companies, retailers, healthcare providers, manufacturers, government departments and agencies, and even municipalities all employ large numbers of tech workers. These haven’t seen similar cuts in skilled workers.
Indeed, Indian technology outsourcing firms such as Infosys and Tata Consultancy, which provide contract labor to a range of U.S. companies, have slowed down hiring without announcing mass layoffs.
Tech sector managers who spoke to IANS said there are plenty of job opportunities for technologists outside of the big tech companies—these are positions in tech operations that keep companies away from pure tech.
They lack the glamor of high-paying companies like Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta — where median salaries topped $290,000 last year — and perks like free food and even laundry service, which Meta recently ended.
But tech jobs elsewhere pay quite well, managers say, ranging from $85,000 to $200,000, depending on individual skills. CNBC also cited a survey by job site Indeed reporting on the availability of certain types of tech jobs.
Eight of the 10 most promising jobs this year are in technology, including positions in cloud computing, site reliability, machine learning and product design, the survey found.
Another problem for job seekers is that many of the jobs on offer are contract positions, as companies want the flexibility to cut jobs without announcing layoffs and offering perks, they said. At the associate level, there are about 5,500 openings for Java developers and more than 25,000 openings for programmers, said a manager who took a quick sample of positions for certain categories of technical staff.
One manager started out as a programmer in the 1990s, survived layoffs in 2001 and 2009 unscathed, and worked his way up tech at a bank, a health insurance company, and a telecommunications company. One problem faced by laid-off workers on H1B visas despite skilled jobs is that they have 60 days to find a new position and have the new employer apply for a similar visa.
A long-term threat to tech jobs comes from automation, one manager said, noting that automated processes reduce employment in the quality assurance and testing areas.
But a recession as severe as that of 2009 can also affect skilled workers, as it could affect all other workers in their companies.