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About that ‘wave’ of IT layoffs

It sounds like the stuff of nightmares for IT workers.

“In 2023, layoffs have yet again cost tens of thousands of tech workers their jobs; this time, the workforce reductions have been driven by the biggest names in tech like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and Zoom. Startups, too, have announced cuts across all sectors, from crypto to enterprise SaaS,” said a March 20 story on the website.

The story includes a comprehensive list of tech layoffs just this year, which have totaled more than 150,000 jobs.

That same day, focused on the 9,000 workers who had been laid off at Amazon, which incudes staff reduction in the Amazon Web Services. Meta and Twitter have also announced staff cutbacks.

Taking those numbers into consideration, the obvious conclusion is that it’s all good news for the companies that have been scrambling to find IT talent for their open positions.

But that conclusion is wrong.

“Our clients have been asking us if it’s easier to find the talent they need after all these layoffs,” noted Chris Walters, Senior Vice President, LRS Consulting Services. “The answer is no. The layoffs making news have had no impact on the number of available workers.”

We took a look at the confounding numbers on this blog back in November, when the total number of new jobs each month was around 300,000 even as big tech companies were announcing layoffs. At that time, we said, “And even with the high-profile layoffs, talent is still a scarce commodity. A New York Times story mentioned that more than 100,000 tech workers have been laid off this year, but that’s a drop in the very big bucket of 2.7 million tech jobs.”

Early this month, weighed in with a piece on the scary headlines about tech sector layoffs. It began, “The unemployment rate in the technology job market in the US is about half that of other fields — just 1.5% — so the onslaught of recent reports about major “tech worker” layoffs can be confounding.”

It went on to explain that the majority of workers being laid off did not hold IT positions. Not only that, but most of the companies announcing layoffs are so large that they were typically laying off just 5% to 6% of their workforce.

“Gartner found that the companies behind the 10 largest layoffs in tech talent now employ over 150,000 more people than at the beginning of 2020. When it comes to tech jobs, hiring continues to far outpace firing,” the article noted.

Computerworld also mentioned that Lisa Rowan, a research vice president for IDC’s HR, Talent, and Learning Strategies Group, said that while there are some technology jobs being eliminated among the layoffs, anyone let go with IT acumen is being snapped up “quickly."

We can confirm that finding qualified Information Technology workers is no easier today than it was before the wave of layoffs began. It might even be harder now as companies are requiring employees to be onsite a least a few days a week and most IT workers prefer working remotely. A quick look at our list of open jobs indicates the shortages we see.

But we have the best recruiters in the business, and they know how to find the talent you need. So forget all the headlines and contact us for help.