Tech layoffs have doubled this year

Tech layoffs in the Bay Area have more than doubled during the first four months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, as the industry grapples with disappointing earnings, a frozen IPO market and a push to consolidate.

The San Jose Mercury News reports this week that San Clara County had the majority of those layoffs, tracked by notices filed with the state of California, while San Francisco, Alameda and and Contra Costa all saw job losses in the sector.

EnlargeTech layoffs in the Bay Area have more than doubled during the first four months of 2016.

NANCY KUEHN | MSPBJ

“Yahoo’s 279 workers let go this year contributed to the 3,135 tech jobs lost in the four-county region of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and San Francisco counties from January through April, as did the 50 workers axed at Toshiba America in Livermore and the 71 at Autodesk in San Francisco,” the paper reported.”

In the first four months of last year, just 1,515 Bay Area tech workers were laid off, according to mandatory filings under California’s WARN Act. For that period in 2014, the region’s tech layoffs numbered 1,330.”

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The report is careful to note that those numbers are likely much higher, because WARN notices are only required when a company lays off 50 or more people, and don’t typically encompass tech startups folding or jobs lost through attrition. Last month, Intel said it would layoff more than 12,000 workers worldwide.

“There is a lot of that,” Wells Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner told the paper.”

When businesses begin to clamp down on costs, one of the first things they do is say, ‘Let’s put in a hiring freeze.’ I feel pretty certain that if you had a pickup in layoffs, then hiring slowed ahead of that.”

Still, there is some good news: Tech’s largest companies, like Google, LinkedIn, Apple and Facebook, are all expanding, as the sector becomes focused on large, revenue-solid firms that can deliver results. Plus, after years of tech booming, it’s only natural it would hit a stall in growth in some areas, experts said.”We’re seven years into this expansion, so at some point we’re going to have a downturn,” Vitner told the paper.”My general sense is the tide is beginning to go out. It doesn’t mean a recession is right around the corner.”

 

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