Mass tech layoffs returned to the Bay Area on Thursday following a relatively calm summer, with Intel announcing that an additional 140 employees are to be let go by the end of the month.
Beginning in October of last year, the tech sector across the Bay Area announced mass layoffs in the tens of thousands. These have included Twitter, Peloton, Lyft, Opendoor, Chime, Stripe, Intel, Microsoft, and numerous others. In January, Salesforce cut 10% of its staff, or around 7,000 jobs, in only their latest round after several other cuts last year. Seattle-based Amazon slashed 18,000 jobs, with many coming in Silicon Valley city Sunnyvale. and Google cut 12,000 employees. Then in February, thousands more lost their jobs because of layoffs at former Silicon Valley stars PayPal, NetApp, Yahoo, and Twilio. In the following months, another round of job cuts at Meta led to another 10,000 people losing their jobs and Salesforce announcing that so many people had been let go that they would be leaving an entire office building. Even usually strong tech sector companies such as Apple, Lyft, Dropbox, Amazon also made cuts.
However, tech company contraction slowed down in the late Spring and early Summer. While San Francisco’s downtown vacancy crisis worsened, it was generally other sectors pulling out. While generating fewer jobs than previous tech booms, the growing AI market has strengthened the tech sector in recent months, with many AI startups choosing San Francisco and the Bay Area as bases of operation. Despite this, more traditional tech companies have remained in turmoil in California, leading to the return of of layoffs this week.
On Thursday, Intel filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with the Employment Development Department (EDD), notifying them of jobs cuts later this month. According to the notice, A total of 140 employees, including 89 at their Folsom location and 51 at the San Jose location, are to be removed. The cuts, with most coming from the Research and Development department, are only the latest for Intel since the beginning of the layoff wave in the fall of last year. This includes 201 being cut in December 2022, 111 being let go in January, 343 being fired in March, and 62 being cut in May. In addition, Intel began selling off their 25 acre San Jose Campus in March, marking a major shift in California.
Intel’s fifth round of layoffs in California since December 2022
The latest cuts are part of the continuing cost reduction measures for the company. Like many tech companies in the Bay Area, they have been shedding jobs because of the economy, inflation, rising insurance costs, too many jobs paying over $100,000 a year, the high costs of operating in and around Silicon Valley, incorrect estimates of growth, and the continuing crime and related troubles of the region.
Employment experts told the Globe on Friday that Intel’s cuts are very likely an indicator that more tech jobs cuts are on the way in Silicon Valley.
“We aren’t seeing cuts like we did earlier this year when Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and others let go 10,000 or more employees at a time in one huge swoop,” said Julie Ochs, a San Jose-based headhunter and hiring specialist. “But what were are seeing are smaller follow up job cut announcements. Microsoft had a small layoff in Mountain View last month, we had Intel and a few others this month, and we are likely going to be seeing more filings soon as the economy begins to suffer once again.”
“Tech companies are still adjusting to this new landscape. AI is on the rise, but other traditional divisions aren’t being funded as much because of so many problems coming at once. Silicon Valley is hurting. They’ve been hurting badly since last year. And it is looking like they won’t stop hurting for at least a little while more.”
As of Thursday morning, Intel has not released a statement on the layoffs, with no interview requests being granted to the media.
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