Meta, the technology giant that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, was the first to shake the board in that ‘black November’ of 2022 for the use of technology giants. He announced 11,000 departures, which also affected the Spanish office. Now, the second round within the package of 10,000 layoffs announced in March, which gives its staff a return to levels at the beginning of last year, crowns this second wave in the sector that has had a less significant impact on teams in Spain. The pace has slowed down significantly after the harsh adjustments, although there is still some uncertainty about the evolution of the market in the coming quarters.
The company founded and led by Mark Zuckerberg assured analysts last month that the first round ended with 11,000 departures and a cost of about 621 million dollars. The second, which ends this week with the last phase, reaches 10,000 workers in the virtual reality laboratory (Reality Labs) and other areas and with a disbursement of nearly 1,000 million in compensation and other expenses. As several US media pointed out this Wednesday, these 6,000 positions that will now be eliminated will have a significant impact on the ‘Partnerships’ team, which will cover the relationship with the media, with brands or with creators. The Dublin office, on which the Spanish team depends (the local subsidiary is 100% owned by an Irish parent), has lost another 490 professionals (almost 20% of the total).
This new meta movement crowns a second wave of layoffs among big tech that has occurred since the start of the year. In March, Amazon announced the departure of 9,000 employees, adding to the 8,000 it had reported in January. Apple announced job cuts last April after resisting implementation for months. As published by Bloomberg, he was going to centralize the ‘snip’, more moderate than other large ones, in the corporate division dedicated to retail trade. China’s Alibaba started the process in March to split into six different companies, sparking fears of drastic measures. Finally, the Asian cloud unit reported at the beginning of this week the departure of some 1,000 employees (7% of the total) to adjust its structure before a foreseeable launch on the stock market.
The impact of this new wave on Spanish teams has been somewhat more limited. Meta has not communicated any Employment Regulation File (ERE), as it did at the end of last year, which resulted in the dismissal of 18% of the workforce -between 30 and 35 employees-. Neither have the rest of the giants. The only one that is negotiating a measure like this is Microsoft, which is finalizing an agreement with the workers’ representatives for the departure of several dozen – the first proposal was close to thirty.
At a global level, there are companies that have only carried out a first wave and there are those who look with some concern that they may carry out further cuts. Apple has played the most conservative role, with very limited reductions for now. Microsoft, Alphabet or IBM only count to their credit the layoffs announced in January. Beyond what can happen in the second part of this year, the reality is that the rate of ‘snips’ has clearly reduced during the month of April. According to data from the Layoffs.fyi aggregator, during that month the number was close to 18,000 worldwide, compared to almost 85,000 in January.
Despite the workforce reductions, the demand for technological profiles continues to grow, with waves of innovation such as AI with special interest
The quarter ending in March was the first after these first cuts at the end of the year. And the financial results of the top tech firms have shown some resilience, with revenue growth rates ranging from 3% to nearly 10%. It is true that it is very far from the ‘post-pandemic’ levels that triggered the demand for its products for digitization. But they kept the pulse after closing the year 2022 down. And this also improved margins due to lower costs.
The other face
Despite these harsh adjustments, which have come to readjust highly inflated workforces after the ‘boom’ of digitization with the pandemic, the demand for technological profiles continues to be high, with great mines of innovation to be exploited such as artificial intelligence. A report late last year from Goldman Sachs noted that job openings for tech workers were still “well above their pre-pandemic level, so those laid off probably have a good chance of finding new jobs.” And the authors deepened: “The main problem in the technological labor market is that labor demand is too strong, not too weak.”
In Spain, DigitalES, an employer association that includes some technology companies and large telecommunications operators, talks about more than 60 jobs whose demand has more than tripled between 2019 and 2022. In total there were more than 11,500 job offers published on portals . Indra, which in the first quarter of the year kept its global workforce stable in almost The company announced for the first time in its results that the mobility ratio, which is the one that calculates the proportion of people who have left the company with respect to the average number overall, stands at 16%. Despite technology cutbacks, filling ‘tech’ positions is still a difficult task for companies.