Technologists Fear Layoffs Coming at Some of Tech’s Biggest Companies

Many technology companies have done well during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those that produce cloud-based infrastructure and productivity apps. However, the technologists within those companies still fear that layoffs are coming.

According to a new survey by Blind, which anonymously surveys technologists about a variety of issues, nearly a third (32 percent) of technologists are worried about layoffs at their company. At firms such as IBM, a majority (70 percent, in Big Blue’s case) are concerned about pink slips. 

Even if they’re not focused on their own employment prospects, employees at many companies are also reporting generalized chatter about layoffs. Some 86 percent of PayPal employees, for example, say that co-workers are opening speculating about whether layoffs are coming. It’s 69 percent at Dropbox, which recently announced that it would cut 11 percent of its workforce as part of a broader restructuring.

Part of this fear might have to do with the time of year; the first quarter is when many businesses readjust their product roadmaps and trim teams. Just witness VMware, which plans on laying off a small portion of its workforce as part of a corporate rebalancing strategy.

Here’s the full breakdown of those worried about layoffs. As you can see, a relatively small percentage of technologists at some of the biggest companies (Amazon, Google, etc.) are actually concerned about it:

The level of concern, though, is notably higher at some other firms, including IBM and Walmart. This might be as much a reflection of those companies’ internal cultures as any exterior issue. As you might expect, the companies where employees hear lots of speculation about layoffs align in many cases with the companies where employees directly fear layoffs:

Fortunately, most tech companies seem to be hiring, not laying people off. According to CompTIA, technology occupations “throughout the economy” grew by 391,000 positions in December 2020. Unemployment within the tech industry hit 3 percent that month, much lower than the 6.7 percent rate for the broader economy. There are also signs that layoffs within startups have leveled off, which is another good sign. 

3 Responses to “Technologists Fear Layoffs Coming at Some of Tech’s Biggest Companies”

  1. Cross-reference this with the number of H1b visas sponsored at each of these companies. And recognize that it can easier for a company to lay off an American worker than someone on an H1b visa.
    Call your representatives in congress and the white house. Demand that state mandated discrimination against Americans stop.

    • Deeply concerned

      Yes, agree 100%, including “Call your representatives in congress and the white house”. Essential to voice your concerns if even possible at this point – it’s no coincidence that this has been occurring quietly for years, and is now occurring at an ever increasing rate in Big Tech and Trickle Tech across the industry and the country, well before the pandemic and other “news” events. Yet, what do you do when you discover these representatives, these “shepherds” are part of the problem?

  2. Deeply concerned

    Disturbed that your “American” email sources like Yahoo and Google, who read and track your email and online data using AI, not to mention their big data collection of your online information (yep, all of it). Your data is then sent and aggregated offshore in this growing digital dragnet since no EU or American laws there to protect you. Well there are no American laws here either, except maybe some opt-out in California. Check out the free encrypted email sources available to you and start rethinking what you share on social media or online (even your bank is in on this). Google is everywhere, including on your phone and any app. Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy are where you sign away your data rights under the pretense of “targeted marketing”. Yeah sure, this is backend data collection and sharing, plain and simple, to profile each and everyone of us (except law enforcement, and “our” politicians who support all of this, of course). Time to drop the illusion of American democracy. Regardless of your political beliefs, Trump is going to look like an angel after what’s coming up.