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The tech industry’s moment of reckoning: layoffs and hiring freezes

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Over the last year, it feels like every day, we’ve heard the news of mass layoffs and hiring freezes from big tech companies that were formerly famous for having deep pockets and near-endless amenities for workers.

To open 2023, Amazon announced layoffs of mostly corporate employees will trim 18,000 workers from the roster, the biggest reduction — in raw numbers, despite Amazon’s 1.5 million-strong workforce — yet.

In March, the company said it would let go of 9,000 more workers with cuts of jobs across its HR, advertising, AWS, and Twitch operations. After cutting 11,000 workers in late 2022, Meta also followed up in March with 10,000 more layoffs.

Slightly smaller raw numbers have popped up at Google, with 12,000 layoffs, and Microsoft, with 10,000.

Elizabeth Lopatto spoke to experts to try and answer the question of why so many layoffs are happening right now, despite tech companies continuing to register sizable profits. One reason is that “investors have changed how they’re evaluating companies,” even if there’s a lack of evidence that the layoffs can help solve any of the problems they may have.

Here’s all our coverage of the recent outbreak of layoffs from big tech, auto, crypto, and more: