New Delhi: The year 2023 saw a massive surge in layoffs across the tech sector, as companies faced global uncertainties, economic slowdown, and the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks tech layoffs, a total of 2,60,509 employees were laid off by 1,175 tech companies in 2023, which is 57.8 percent higher than the 1,64,969 employees laid off by 1,064 tech companies in 2022.
The data revealed that some of the biggest tech giants were among the top layoff offenders in 2023. Amazon topped the list with 17,000 layoffs, followed by Google with 12,000, Meta (formerly Facebook) with 10,000, and Microsoft with 10,000. The reasons for the layoffs varied from restructuring, cost-cutting, performance issues, and market changes, to strategic shifts.
The Indian tech sector also witnessed a wave of layoffs in 2023, especially in the edtech and social media domains. Byju’s, the largest edtech company in India, fired 3,500 employees in two rounds, citing redundancy and inefficiency. Unacademy, another leading edtech platform, laid off 12 percent of its workforce, citing business realignment and optimization. ShareChat, a social media app, cut 500 jobs, citing the need to focus on core products and markets. Swiggy, a food delivery app, slashed 380 jobs, citing the impact of the pandemic and the need to streamline operations. Ola, a ride-hailing app, reduced 200 jobs, citing the need to improve efficiency and profitability. Physics Walla, an online learning platform, axed 120 employees, citing the need to scale up and innovate.
Experts said that the job market in 2023 was extremely dynamic and challenging, as the domestic tailwinds were slowed marginally by the global headwinds. They said that the tech sector was transforming, as the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and changed consumer behavior and expectations. They also said that the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus, such as JN.1, posed a threat to the recovery and growth of the sector.
As for the future, some experts predicted that the layoffs trend would continue in 2024 and beyond, as the tech sector would face more competition, disruption, and regulation. They said that the companies would have to focus on their core competencies, niche segments, and differentiation strategies, and avoid overhiring and overspending.
“Layoffs and job losses will continue with the changing climate until 2026, though replacement hires will be centered at entry-level and mid-level roles in GCCs, data centers, tech centers in BFSI, automotive, and ER&D industries.