Layoffs and cost-cutting among Big Tech companies and startups globally continued into the first two months of CY23, breaking all previous year’s records. More than 84,400 employees were laid off across 268 companies in January alone, making it the worst month yet for tech employees since mass retrenchments began post covid in 2020, according to layoff tracking site Layoffs. Retrenchments continued into the current month, with at least 22,800 employees impacted in February across 104 companies.
This year, large tech companies, including Zoom, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, HP, TikTok, Yahoo, Dell and others, let go of thousands of employees across several roles both globally and in India. Prior to February, November 2022 saw the most amount of tech layoffs, which impacted close to 51,800 employees across 2017 companies in India and globally. The last time the number breached these levels were during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Q2CY20 when 428 tech companies fired at least 60,000 employees. According to Layoffs.
Google laid off the most number of employees in the technology industry both globally and in India with at least 12,000 employees impacted. Meta, Amazon
This year’s layoff wave exceeded all previous year’s records wherein retail, consumer, transportation and finance-related tech companies fired most of the 108,454 affected employees. Ever since Q2CY22, tech layoffs have been breaching new records each quarter with no indications of a slowdown. The ongoing quarter of Q1CY23 has already seen 107,200 employees being affected among 372 companies.
In the first two months of 2023, Indian startups, including Dunzo, Sharechat, Rebel Foods, Captain Fresh, BharatAgri, Ola, Byju’s, DeHaat, Skit.ai, Coin DCX, LEAD School, Bounce, Cashfree, laid off several hundred employees. FE had reported in December 2022 that the rising number of layoffs among startups and digital platforms is expected to slow down by mid-2023. Hiring experts told FE that by the middle of next year, companies in the digital space may go back to hiring to fuel their growth plans.
Yet, the tech industry, including Big Tech and startups, together have laid off over 18,000 employees in India in the last calendar year. Many of these include unicorns, late-stage firms and even early-stage startups that were unable to raise crucial cash amid the funding crunch. The consumer internet segment currently remains the most affected in terms of job cuts. Startups in edtech, fintech, hyperlocal delivery, insurtech, content and gaming, logistics and online commerce are some of the worst affected. According to some estimates, edtech was the worst affected with 14 edtech startups laying off 6,898 employees in 2022.