Tech layoff analysis

Nov. 21, 2023
6 min read
Team skills.ai

Author

Team skills.ai

Executive summary

The recent economic slowdown has led to significant layoffs across various industries, with tech firms being heavily impacted. Amazon leads the list of companies with the highest number of layoffs, followed by Meta and Google. The top 10 companies with the largest layoffs encompass a wide range of industries, including technology, retail, and transportation.

Industries with the most significant impact include Consumer and Retail, with total layoffs of 39,329 and 37,792, respectively. Transportation and Food sectors also face substantial layoffs, while Finance and Real Estate industries show considerable impact. Healthcare, Sales, and Crypto have comparatively lesser effects.

In terms of location, the SF Bay Area experiences the highest number of laid-off employees, followed by Seattle and New York City. Major cities in India and European cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, and London also face significant layoffs. On the other hand, some cities like Houston, Brussels, Cape Town, Hanoi, and Lahore have seen no layoffs.

From 2020 to 2023, there has been an overall rise in layoffs, with 2022 being the peak year and a slight decline observed in 2023. The highest number of layoffs occurred in June 2022, while the lowest was recorded in December 2020.

When analyzing layoffs by funding stage, Post-IPO companies show the highest number of layoffs, followed by the Unknown funding stage. Mid-stage companies like Series B, Series D, and Series C also face layoffs, with the Acquired stage having a higher number of layoffs than some later stages. Early-stage startups and subsidiaries seem to be more resilient to layoffs.


About the data

Tech firms around the globe are fighting the economic slowdown. The slow consumer spending, higher interest rates by central banks and strong dollars overseas are hinting towards possible recession and tech firms have started laying employees off. This economic slowdown has made Meta recently fire 13% of its workforce, which amounts to more than 11,000 employees. Each row is a layoff event, a company may layoff multiple times. The data availability is from 11 March 2020 to end of April 2023.


Analytics

1. Top 10 companies with the largest layoffs

  • Amazon leads the list with the highest number of layoffs, totaling 27,150 employees.
  • Meta and Google follow, with 21,000 and 12,000 laid-off employees, respectively.
  • Companies like Salesforce, Microsoft, and Philips each had around 10,000 layoffs.
  • The remaining companies in the top 10, including Ericsson, Flink, Uber, and Micron, had between 7,200 and 8,500 layoffs.
  • Overall, the top 10 companies with the largest layoffs encompass a variety of industries, including technology, retail, and transportation.

2. Industries that have the biggest impact

  • Consumer and Retail industries have the most significant impact, with total layoffs of 39,329 and 37,792, respectively.
  • Transportation (31,517) and Food (24,469) sectors follow closely, together accounting for over 55,000 layoffs.
  • Finance (22,884) and Real Estate (14,541) industries also show substantial impact, while Healthcare, Sales, and Crypto have comparatively lesser effects.

3. Locations with the biggest impact

  • SF Bay Area has the highest number of total laid off employees with 145,051, followed by Seattle at 44,741 and New York City at 29,976.
  • Major cities in India like Bengaluru, Gurugram, Mumbai, and New Delhi also feature in the top 30 locations with significant layoffs.
  • European cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, and London have more than 8,000 layoffs each.
  • Locations with no layoffs include cities like Houston, Brussels, Cape Town, Hanoi, and Lahore, among others.
  • The data suggests that major tech and business hubs, such as the SF Bay Area, Seattle, and New York City, have been the most impacted in terms of layoffs.

4. Number of layoffs year over year

  • 2020 experienced a total of 6,096 layoffs, marking the starting point for comparison.
  • In 2021, a slight increase in layoffs occurred, with 6,490 individuals laid off, representing an increase of 6.46% compared to 2020.
  • A significant spike in layoffs was observed in 2022, totaling 12,713, which is almost double the number in 2021, showing a 95.6% increase year over year.
  • However, in 2023, the number of laid-off employees decreased to 11,598, a reduction of 8.77% compared to 2022.
  • Over the four-year period, there was an overall rise in layoffs, with 2022 being the peak year, and a slight decline observed in 2023.

5. Layoffs by month

  • The data comprises layoffs by month from March 2020 to April 2023.
  • The highest number of layoffs occurred in June 2022 with 14,361 individuals being laid off.
  • The lowest number of layoffs was recorded in December 2020 with only 1,200 individuals losing their jobs.
  • A sharp decline in layoffs can be observed from August 2021 to January 2022, with the number of layoffs ranging from 4,121 to 9,000.
  • There is a general upward trend in layoffs from January 2023 onwards, with the number of layoffs consistently increasing each month, reaching 13,612 in April 2023.

6. Layoffs by the funding stage.

  • The Post-IPO funding stage has the highest number of layoffs, with a total of 17,710. This is expected, as companies at this stage have generally grown significantly and may require restructuring or cost-cutting measures.
  • The Unknown funding stage comes in second, with 2,470 layoffs. This category may include startups that have not disclosed funding information or have unconventional funding sources.
  • For companies in the mid-stage of funding, Series B shows the highest number of layoffs at 2,062, followed by Series D at 1,645 and Series C at 1,514.
  • Interestingly, the Acquired stage has a higher number of layoffs (1,345) than some of the later funding stages, such as Series E (1,078) and Series F (620).
  • The Seed and Subsidiary stages had the lowest number of layoffs, with 119 and 71 respectively, indicating that early-stage startups and subsidiaries may be more resilient to layoffs.

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