The EconomistThe Economist

Where have all the sacked tech workers gone?

27 Mar 2023 · 3 min read

The Economist explains why fired tech workers are headed to "unsexy industries" like health insurance and industrial goods—including companies like John Deere, an American tractor-maker.

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To understand the shift in tone that has taken place in Silicon Valley in recent months, look no further than Mark Zuckerberg’s declaration in February that 2023 would be the “year of efficiency”. It is hardly the kind of language to set the pulse racing—unless you are an employee on the receiving end of it. On March 14th Meta, the tech giant Mr Zuckerberg runs, announced it would fire 10,000 staff—on top of the 11,000 it laid off last November.

Meta is not alone. On March 20th Amazon, another tech behemoth, said it would cut a further 9,000 corporate employees, having already let 18,000 white-collar types go. So far this year American tech firms have announced 118,000 sackings, according to Crunchbase, a data provider, adding to the 140,000 jobs cut last year. And more may lie ahead. On March 24th the chief operating officer of Salesforce, a business-software firm, hinted that the company would soon add to the 8,000 lay-offs it announced in January.

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