Disney has announced the biggest round of job cuts in February thus far, following the approximately 160,097 total layoffs in Big Tech alone last year.
- The tech sector has already experienced a substantial number of job cuts in 2023, with Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft, Salesforce, Dell, IBM, SAP, Paypall, Wayfair, and Yahoo each reporting workforce reductions. In fact, three of the largest individual rounds of layoffs since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic having taken place in January.
- Disney announced it plans to cut 7,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in costs as part of a vast restructuring initiative that would see it split into three new divisions: Disney Entertainment, an ESPN division, and a Parks, Experiences and Products unit.
- Multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs has announced it plans to cut 3,200 jobs, or 6% of its workforce, making this one of the biggest rounds of layoffs it has implemented since the financial crisis of 2007–2008.
Big Tech Kicked off 2023 With Big Layoffs
Multiple Big Tech companies made headlines in late 2022 for laying off thousands of workers within a short time span. This was the consequence of these same businesses overhiring while the world was in the process of recovering from the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the economy took a turn for the worst last year, tech companies prioritized keeping payrolls low amid fears that a potential recession was on the horizon.
November was a particularly brutal month for Silicon Valley workers, with Bloomberg reporting that the sector was on track to reach early pandemic levels of layoffs just over one week into the month. The total number of tech job cuts in Q4'22 ended up being 80,286—20,145 more than 2020's second-quarter peak.
Although the number of layoffs in Big Tech eased in December, 2023 already has the largest total number of job cuts in a single month since January 2022, with layoffs in January 2023 having reached 84,414. In fact, four of the biggest rounds of tech layoffs since the onset of COVID-19 took place this January.
Approximately 356 tech companies have implemented layoffs as of Feb. 15, 2023.
Below are the 10 tech companies that have made the largest job cuts in 2023:
- On Jan. 4, Amazon announced it would lay off 18,000 workers, or 5% of its corporate staff. This is the largest round of layoffs announced since the pandemic started, and it was 8,000 higher than initially expected when the ecommerce giant confirmed back in November that it would be implementing job cuts.
- Google's parent company, Alphabet, said it will be laying off 12,000 employees, or around 6% of its workforce, making this the second-largest round of layoffs since the onset of the pandemic. Among the laid-off workers, several of them had been long-tenured or recently promoted, according to CNBC.
- On Jan. 18, Microsoft announced it would be cutting 10,000 jobs, or approximately 5% of its workforce. Following Meta's 11,000 cut back in November, this is the fourth-largest round of layoffs since the pandemic began. Microsoft also made multiple job cuts last year, with the technology corporation announcing it would lay off less than 1% of its staff on July 12 and also confirming another 1,000 jobs would be cut on Oct. 17, per CNBC and Axios, respectively.
- Also on Jan. 4, Salesforce said it plans to cut 8,000 jobs, or 10% of its staff, in addition to reducing its office space.
- On Feb. 6, Dell announced plans to cut approximately 6,650 jobs, or about 5% of its global workforce, amid decreasing demand for personal computers.
- IBM announced on Jan. 25 that it plans to cut around 3,900 jobs, or approximately 1.5% of its global workforce, though it expects to continue hiring in "higher growth areas," according to Bloomberg.
- Multinational software company SAP said on Jan. 26 that it plans to layoff 3,000 employees, or 2.5% of its global workforce.
- On Jan. 31, PayPal announced it plans to cut 2,000 jobs, or approximately 7% of its workforce.
- On Jan. 20, online furniture retailer Wayfair announced it will be laying off approximately 1,750 workers, or 10% of its staff.
- On Feb. 9, Yahoo announced it will be reducing its workforce by over 20%, or approximately 1,600 employees.
No Sector Safe From Layoffs
2022 wasn't just a tough year for tech workers, as real estate firms, investment banks, and other companies also had their fair share of job cuts. And although there haven't been as many of these thus far in 2023, there are still a few worth mentioning:
- On Feb. 8, Disney announced it plans to reorganize into three segments: Disney Entertainment, an ESPN division, and a Parks, Experiences and Products unit. As part of this restructuring initiative, the mass media company also said it would be laying off 7,000 employees, or approximately 3% of its workforce, as well as cutting $5.5 billion in costs, per CNBC.
- Goldman Sachs' Chief Executive Officer David Solomon announced on Jan. 17 the multinational investment bank would cut 3,200 jobs, or 6% of its workforce. This was one of the biggest rounds of layoffs Goldman Sachs has implemented since the financial crisis of 2007–2008.
- On Jan. 24, 3M announced it will lay off 2,500 manufacturing jobs. The multinational conglomerate is facing a demand slowdown in its consumer-facing unit, according to Reuters.
- On Feb. 6, Boeing said it expects to cut approximately 2,000 white-collar jobs in its finance and human resources departments.
- On Jan. 19, Capital One laid off 1,100 workers in its technology division. The bank holding company also plans to eliminate its "Agile" job family and integrate it into existing engineering and product manager roles, per Reuters.
- On Jan. 6, Compass reported it was assessing a final wave of job cuts, in addition to pursuing a tenant to sublease its office space, according to Markets Insider. This was the real estate technology company's third round of layoffs within the last 12 months, with it cutting 450 jobs, or 10% of its workforce, back in June as well as a further 271 on Sept. 21.
- On Jan. 18, Rocket Companies laid off 50 employees. This follows the 20 positions that the consumer lending company had cut during the first week of the year, according to HousingWire.
- On Jan. 9, per the same Markets Insider article, Anywhere Real Estate announced it is currently planning on reducing its workforce. Although it didn't provide a concrete number, it confirmed, with this latest round of job cuts, that it has cut 11% of its staff since June 30.
- On Jan. 23, Newell Brands, the parent company of Rubbermaid and other consumer good manufacturers, announced it will be cutting approximately 13% of its office positions.