The recent wave of high-tech job losses continued this week, with Amazon and Microsoft laying off thousands of employees.
Amazon began its latest job cuts in Canada, the United States, and Costa Rica on Wednesday as part of a global plan to cut 18,000 positions. On the same day, Microsoft announced the layoff of 10,000 employees, accounting for nearly 5% of its workforce.
Neither company would say whether the layoffs affected Canadian operations. Still, several Amazon employees across the country posted on LinkedIn that they had been laid off on Wednesday and were looking for work.
“I’m impacted by the layoff at Amazon this morning,” Toronto-based Sijie Jin wrote on LinkedIn on Wednesday. “I’m looking for a software engineer position in Canada and am open to new opportunities.” These are just the most recent reported layoffs in the technology sector.
Meta Inc. (Facebook) laid off over 11,000 employees in November; Shopify cut around 1,000 jobs from its global workforce, or 10% of all employees, last summer. Local startups such as Hootsuite and Wealthsimple have also recently made cuts.
The e-commerce giant’s worldwide retail chief Doug Herrington sent emails to employees about layoffs on Wednesday, according to the Star.
Microsoft said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the layoffs were due to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities,” CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement that the company would take a $1.2 billion charge in the fiscal second quarter.
According to Ning Su, an associate professor at Western University’s Ivey School of Business, employees in the technology sector should be optimistic because layoffs may mean more opportunities for growth and talent to be hired at startups and smaller companies.
“There may be uncertainty in the short term, but there will be opportunities as long as there is talent,” Su said. He added that the example of the dot-com crash demonstrates that layoffs do not spell the end of the sector.
“This new breed of internet giants — Google, Amazon, and Facebook — emerged right on the foundation of the companies that succeeded and failed during the internet bubble crash,” Su explained. “We could be at that tipping point where the tech sector’s growth paradigm is shifting and changing. It’s looking for the next model, which is one of the reasons for the layoffs.”