Google announced plans Friday to lay off 6% of its workforce which is roughly 12,000 employees, Breitbart reported. This marks the largest cut in the company's history.
The tech giant, whose parent company is Alphabet Inc., is the latest to announce such plans as the industry faces a downturn. Microsoft, Meta (formerly Facebook), Salesforce, and Amazon have also announced major cuts, with tens of thousands of tech workers facing unemployment.
Microsoft has consolidated leases at a cost of $1.2 billion to weather the coming storm. The company also announced it would lay off 10,000 employees, or nearly 5% of its employees.
CEO Satya Nadella was "confident that Microsoft would emerge from this stronger and more competitive," a memo to staff explained. He blamed the shakeup on post-pandemic changes.
"As we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less," Nadella also claimed. "We’re also seeing organizations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one."
Facebook is on track to cut 11,000 employees amounting to 13% of its total workforce. Business software company Salesforce will cut 10% of its workforce, leaving 8,000 people unemployed.
The largest of these cuts will come from Amazon, which announced that 18,000 jobs would be eliminated. However, the company employs 1.5 million people worldwide, making the overall proportion of cuts considerably lower than the other Silicon Valley companies.
Google's CEO Sundar Pichai told employees in an email Friday that the layoffs would be worldwide but impact staff in the U.S. immediately, Fox Business news reported. Cuts will be across several departments, including some in engineering and products, as well as recruiting and business teams.
Pichai cited the same reasons as Nadella for the cuts. "Over the past two years, we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth," he wrote to employees.
"To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today," Pichai added. "I am confident about the huge opportunity in front of us thanks to the strength of our mission, the value of our products and services, and our early investments in AI."
U.S. employees who are laid off will get benefits like job placement, immigration services, and healthcare for six months. The company will provide 16 weeks of severance salary plus another two weeks' pay for each year of employment at Google. Employees outside of the U.S. will get whatever local customs dictate.
These cuts to the technology sector come after years of hard times for other industries and manual laborers. The advice coming from people like President Joe Biden has simply been that they should learn to code, The Hill reported.
"Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well," Biden told coal workers anxious about losing their jobs. "Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!"
It will be interesting to see how these same people react when tech workers are laid off. One thing is for sure -- they wouldn't dare be as dismissive and certainly wouldn't tell the people out of a job to learn to mine coal.