Tech layoffs are all but a thing of the past

Layoffs in the technology industry have slowed sharply in recent months, bringing the number of jobs lost to tech’s efficiency push to a near stop.

According to several services that track layoffs in the tech industry, after reaching a local maximum in January, the number of people laid off had declined by more than 90% by September. What’s more, some tech companies are hiring again to refill some of the roles that they had eliminated mere months ago.

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Such a quick shift from mass personnel cuts to more stable employee rolls and even hiring efforts may seem surprising, but it’s been a long time in the making. Data from popular tech industry layoff tracker shows that job cuts have slowed for seven consecutive months this year, plateauing around 10,000 per month from June through August and declining to just over 3,000 so far in September.

Made with Flourish
Data visualization by Miranda Halpern, created with Flourish

TrueUp, a jobs board focused on the tech industry, also marked that tech industry layoffs peaked in January and declined sharply thereafter. However, TrueUp’s layoff count shows a slightly lumpier trend in the total number of staff cuts. Regardless of the source, though, the trend is clear that job cuts are on the decline.

And that’s not even the good news. This column pointed out in July that while the number of roles slashed by tech companies was falling, the number of companies doing layoffs was trending upward:

[W]e’re moving past the era when tech companies were slashing head counts deeply and broadly. Instead, we are seeing smaller, more tactical cuts as these businesses seek to shave off the last bits of operational excess. For tech employees, this is generally good news, but the danger hasn’t passed for people who weren’t affected by earlier layoffs. The damage is simply being spread around more than it was earlier in the year.


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