Mass tech layoffs that began in late October continued across Silicon Valley on Tuesday, with tech company Intel announcing 201 job layoffs in Santa Clara and Folsom.
The trend of layoffs began just over a month ago when Twitter, shortly after the sale to billionaire Elon Musk, announced the layoffs of 3,700 people, many of whom worked at the San Francisco headquarters. The number quickly grew within a few days, with Lyft firing 550 people, Opendoor cutting 550 people, tech giant Stripe shedding 1,120 positions, Oracle getting rid of 200 people, and Chime cutting 160 people. By November, the situation grew even more dire, with Salesforce cutting jobs for the second month in a row and Meta cutting an astounding 11,000 jobs, most of which were in the Bay Area. Other smaller companies have also shed thousands more within the time span, as well as non-California based companies with Bay Area presences, such as Amazon, which announced that 263 people would be let go from their Sunnyvale location.
Many companies in the last few months have blamed the economy, inflation, the looming recession, rising insurance costs, too many jobs paying over $100,000 a year, and the high costs of operating in and around Silicon Valley. Social media companies blame increased competition eating into ad revenue, while other companies admit that they predicted incorrectly the growth of e-commerce and other sectors post-pandemic, as well as citing continued supply-chain issues stemming from a still locked-down China.
Companies which didn’t initially fire people in October and November have warned that December would likely be affecting them. San Jose-based Cisco and Palo Alto-based Hewlett Packard have both warned of thousands of layoffs happening worldwide soon. Intel was only the first to do so on Tuesday, with the company writing in a WARN letter to the EDD that they intend to fire 90 people in Santa Clara and 111 people in Folsom by the end of January.
“Intel plans to permanently reduce staff” at multiple locations in Santa Clara and one site in Folsom,” said Intel in their WARN letter Tuesday. “No employees have the right to bump or displace other employees. There is no union representing the affected employees. All employees are being notified of separation with at least 60 days’ notice.”
Tech companies continue huge cutbacks
The cutbacks at tech companies across the Bay Area have had severe repercussions, with cities now facing huge losses in tax revenue, many employees now out of work before the holidays, and thousands of laid-off employees under U.S. visas now facing an uncertain future in the U.S.
“I came to the U.S. under a visa several years ago and fell in love with the country here,” Ram Mandal, who was recently laid-off from a tech firm in San Francisco, told the Globe on Tuesday. “Colleagues didn’t care what caste I came from, and it was all about merit in moving up. But since I was laid off, I’ve been in a panic because I don’t know how long I can stay now. Sponsorship is one thing for a visa, but if that company is no longer sponsoring you, you need to find another job fast to stay. And it is hard out there right now.”
Experts noted on Tuesday that Intel’s intentions to fire will likely be the first of many more tech companies this month giving another round of firings.
“There’s been signals from other companies that firings are coming,” explained Julie Ochs, a San Jose-based headhunter and hiring specialist, to the Globe on Tuesday. “This run for the tech industry in San Francisco and Silicon Valley had to end at some point. It’s been riding high since the great recession, and long before that really. Entire campuses were built here for Apple and Google and Facebook. But behind all that was these companies operating at huge losses or quickly expanding, or having personal chefs make breakfast for employees or huge contracts to employees that overinflated everything around here. A bullet was fired in the air, but , you know, at some point, it will have to go down.
“Silicon Valley has seen its share of ups and downs before, with some companies just crashing and burning in spectacular fashion. Look up pets.com or Theranos or the ongoing struggles of WeWork. But this, this is industry-wide all within a few months of each other. And as Intel proved today, this downward trend is only continuing here.”
Other tech company layoffs are expected to be announced soon following the Intel letters.
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