What’s with all the big tech layoffs at Spotify, Google, Microsoft, Meta, And Amazon?

Patrick Devaney
Jan 30, 2023
Updated • Jan 30, 2023

With the exception of Apple, all the Big Tech companies have announced thousands upon thousands of layoffs over recent months. Also, as has been reported by The Verge, the statements these companies have put out about why they’ve laid off so many workers all seem pretty similar.

Tech layoffs

They focus on difficult times during COVID-19 sparking a digital boom that caused an acceleration in hiring practices. As things have slowed down a little, however, they can’t maintain their workforces at levels they previously thought would be sustainable. With so many people losing their jobs, however, and so little relatable information coming across through all the multiple statements being put out by the companies that are cutting them, we thought it would be worth looking into it all to try and understand what is going on.

An overview of the tech layoffs

The tech sector is experiencing downsizing and layoffs, with over 120,000 tech workers losing their jobs in 2022, which is much more jobs than were lost during the bust of the .com boom at the turn of the millennium. As you can see above, these layoffs have been affecting some of the biggest companies in tech including Microsoft, Meta, Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, and more.

There are global factors to take into account here such as the ongoing economic turmoil caused by macroeconomic factors such as rising inflation, a slowdown in consumer spending in a broader context of contracting economies, and the ongoing war in Ukraine. This has seen tech companies tightening their belts over the last twelve months with economic forecasts indicating that things are unlikely to get better any time soon. The current situation is a result of economic cycles and companies seeking to balance their books for this year so that they can start the next financial year in a stronger situation.


Why now?

The idea behind layoffs is that they save companies money in the long run, even though there’s an initial expenditure of millions or even billions of dollars to pay in severance. Once you get past the severance liabilities then, this can make sense with fewer salaries to pay. Interestingly, however, there are economists who say that layoffs do not actually help companies save money as they ignore the real problem, which is revenue.

The equation goes that revenue is down so we will have to cut costs to maintain profits. However, this overlooks the fact that revenue is down. The fact that all the big tech statements are the same tells us that they are trying to see this as something that they can’t control in a context where profits simply have to be maintained. When you cut your workforce, however, you may just be cutting the main asset you have to help you raise long-term revenues moving forward. In short, laying off staff is the quickest and easiest route out of lowered growth forecasts but it isn’t necessarily the best one for companies to take.

Even though these companies have tens of billions, often hundreds of billions of dollars, collectively, in reserves, they supposedly don’t have enough money to support their workforces without hurting profits, which means workers have to go. It is the profits that must come first at all costs, even if is global factors that have nothing to do with them that are causing the dips in revenue.

The human costs of layoffs like these

Unfortunately, the system that dictates all of this fails to take into account the real effects this type of abstract number crunching has on real people and real families. Losing your job is a horrible thing to go through, not least because of the financial strain it places upon you and your family, but also the emotional and psychological turmoil you face when you are cast aside by your employer. Even without the fact you are now scrambling around thinking about how you are going to pay your bills, which have just gone up considerably because of the same global factors that are behind your job loss in the first place, you are also having to deal with feelings of worthlessness, shame, and maybe even misplaced guilt.

The only good news in all of this is that digital boom that led many of the affected big tech companies to take on more workers than they now believe they can handle, is still continuing at pace. The broader tech sector is actually in a strong position with technology and digital technology seeping into more aspects of our daily lives. It is big tech that has been hurting the most while the broader tech sector is still hiring at record numbers. In an increasingly globalized labor market that offers more and more remote working opportunities, there is a good chance that many of the tech workers who have lost their jobs over recent months will be able to find something else.


In conclusion, the recent layoffs made by tech companies have been affected by the way investors evaluate companies and the economic cycles even though layoffs may not be an effective way of improving profitability in the long term and will have significant negative impacts on employees. The broader tech sector is in a strong position, however, with the big tech companies being more vulnerable to broader economic factors. With the human cost of layoffs like this being so significant, however, a question worth asking is, would you boycott any of these companies based on their hiring and firing practices?

What’s with all the big tech layoffs?
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What’s with all the big tech layoffs?
Let's take a deeper look at the huge layoffs that the big tech companies have been pushing through in recent months.
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  1. John G. said on January 30, 2023 at 12:58 pm

    Those things are very difficult to happen in Europe nowadays due the amount of rights and laws that protect the workers against massive layoffs. Anyway mostly all of these tech companys are located in the USA, which has the worst labour market so far, mostly compared with the China one in the lack of rights, more or less. The worst class of capitalism is very similar to the worst class of hybrid communism or even the arab labour market that is applied in some countries. Thanks for the article!

  2. Dave Rader said on January 29, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    The effects of the “plandemic” caused a new, new normal. Lots of these remote workers were working two jobs simultaneously anyway.

  3. Tom Hawack said on January 29, 2023 at 10:19 am

    The problem is that in periods of crisis everyone makes an effort except companies for whom making that effort would mean a loss of profit they just won’t accept. An analogy with the story of these players who were found carbonized in a Las Vegas casino because they just wouldn’t quit their slot machines when the fire struck, these big tech companies just won’t lower their cash income whatever the economic fire. An army knows when it is necessary to beat a retreat and big tech companies who build their organization and strategy as an army don’t apply the same reasoning. My opinion is that such an irresponsible behavior combines intellectual and moral aberrations.

  4. OldGamer said on January 29, 2023 at 6:04 am

    No, sir.. I will continue to buy quality products from Samsung, Logitech etc.

  5. John said on January 29, 2023 at 2:11 am

    Over hired like drunken sailors for fear somehow the pandemic was going to require more people??
    Lot of this inflated hiring happened before the pandemic. In fact, I think without the pandemic these layoffs would have happened sooner for many of these tech companies.

  6. Anonymous said on January 29, 2023 at 12:38 am

    Because of the predicted global recession?

  7. yanta said on January 29, 2023 at 12:21 am

    Less buyers = Less production = less workers needed to produce the reduced stocks.
    Overindulged and coddled employees are mostly at the upper levels of the companies, and they are not the ones being laid off.

  8. Dennis said on January 28, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I believe the corona virus panic and the resultant work-from-home debacle exposed precisely how utterly unproductive and unnecessary many of these coddled, overindulged employees really were…..

    1. Jim said on January 29, 2023 at 9:11 pm

      Work from home has been great for my business, a lot less office space needed. Not sure why that is a debacle, unless you are in corp real estate.

  9. Rorygates said on January 28, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    Working for these large tech businesses are a bunch of lazy, tik tok-obsessed idiots who brag about how well they have it until they don’t. When laid off, they are currently sobbing like infants. We can only hope for more layoffs for types like these. Perhaps the recent decline in the quality of Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc… services will end soon.

  10. Jimmy said on January 28, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    Maybe they figured out that lots of the “at home workers” didn’t really do anything.

    Is “Learn Coding” still a thing everyone is telling kids?

    1. Jim said on January 30, 2023 at 8:01 am

      I supervised people working from home. They had a deadline to complete the work I gave them. If they didn’t do anything at home then obviously they did not meet the deadline. How or at what time of day they did the work did not concern me, only that they delivered a quality product on time.

      I liked it better than micro managing people at work and telling them to stop taking so many smoke breaks and stop playing with their phones. Having people complete tasks is far more productive them having them sit around the office and complete hours.

  11. Hi IQ said on January 28, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    These places can’t just use people like a tire, when they get a flat. Just like the feller @ a Wal-Mart. They fired him, he goes home, and gets gun. Comes back to Wal-Mart, and starts shooting.

    Some people are crazy, and these biz places just can’t push people around these days and times.

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