November is shaping up to be the worst month of the year for tech layoffs

 

By Chris Morris

Just halfway through November, it’s on track to be the worst month for tech layoffs in an already terrible year. And barring a miracle, the fourth quarter will be the worst since the start of the pandemic.

Year to date, some 121,413 people at 789 different tech companies have lost their jobs. And the numbers are about to take another big jump.

Asana, on Tuesday, announced it was “reducing the size of our global team.” The company, which employs over 1,600 people did not detail how extensive the cuts will be, but reports put the figure at 9% (roughly 144 people). And Amazon began layoffs, following a report from the New York Times on Monday that the online retailer would lay off approximately 10,000 workers, largely in its devices organization.

Meanwhile, activist investor TCI is pushing Google parent company Alphabet to slash costs and head count, saying the company would improve efficiency by lowering its head count. It specifically mentioned the self-driving car unit Waymo as an area of weakness. In July, Google announced it was slowing hiring for the rest of the year and employees were urged to be “more entrepreneurial” in an all-hands memo.

Not counting any of those, though, November had already seen 25,563 people losing their jobs, according to Layoffs.fyi, an online tool created by entrepreneur Roger Lee after the onset of the pandemic two years ago. Meta, which cut 11,000 people on November 9, and Twitter, where 3,700 people lost their jobs on November 4, are responsible for more than half of that figure.

Just a month and a half into the fourth quarter, layoffs are just 637 below the total of the entirety of the second quarter of 2022, when the crypto winter began claiming jobs in the digital currency space. While it will almost certainly pass that benchmark, it likely won’t come close to the second quarter of 2020, when more than 60,000 tech workers were laid off at the start of the pandemic.

Here are some of November’s other notable reductions in staff, as tallied by Layoffs.fyi.

November is shaping up to be the worst month of the year for tech layoffs

Booking.com—226 employees were let go on November 1, when the company shut down a call center in Michigan.

Opendoor—As the real estate market imploded, the home shopping site reduced its workforce by 18%, about 550 employees. CEO Eric Wu blamed sharply lower demand for houses and higher mortgage rates for the move.

Lyft—After laying off 60 in June, the ride-hailing company slashed its head count by 13% eliminating nearly 700 jobs. That followed efforts to lower costs by freezing hiring, cutting spending and pausing certain initiatives. Despite those moves, the company’s co-founders said the cuts were necessary, given current economic conditions.

Stripe—The payments company, which is often described as one of the most valuable startups, cut over 1,000 jobs, 14% of its workforce, to rein in costs as the economy soured.

GoTo Group—Not as well known as some of the other companies on this list, Indonesia’s largest internet company hasn’t been immune to economic forces either. It eliminated 1,000 jobs earlier this month in an effort to get its finances in order in preparation for an economic downturn.

Sema4 —The health-intelligence company laid off one-third of its workforce, roughly 500 jobs on November 14, when it closed a laboratory in Stamford, Connecticut, after determining its reproductive-health business was unsustainable. It will shift its focus to pediatric medicine and rare diseases, both of which have higher margins. 

Update, November 15: This story has been updated with information about Amazon’s layoffs.

Fast Company

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