RALEIGH – Announcements of layoffs continue to occur, from companies large and small. But startups, even well-funded, venture-backed startups, appear to be slowing hiring and may be more prone to layoffs as well, including the electric vehicle company Arrival, which has its North American headquarters in Charlotte.
Arrival announced a corporate restructuring last month, in a move to cut costs, and confirmed on Monday to WRAL TechWire that 35 workers in Charlotte have been a part of the company’s layoffs that are impacting about 30% of employees globally. Prior to the restructuring proposal went into effect, 95 people were employed in the Charlotte region, a spokesperson confirmed to WRAL TechWire on Monday.
The company also plans to delay the London-headquartered startup’s microfactory opening in the Charlotte region until 2023, executives disclosed during the company’s earnings call last week.
“We made the decision to move the start of production of our Charlotte Van Microfactory to 2023,” the spokesperson told WRAL TechWire. “By moving the start of production of Charlotte to 2023, it reduces our near-term cash spend and we will be using the production learnings from [the microfactory plant located in] Bicester, UK and apply that to Charlotte.”
Charlotte layoffs continue to pile up
GoHealth, which is headquartered in Chicago, but maintains an office location in Charlotte, laid off about 800 workers or approximately 20% of its U.S. workforce, including approximately 140 workers in Charlotte, last week.
An email sent on August 9 by company CEO Vijay Kotte to employees who remained in their roles was later published by the company on its website.
That letter reads that it was a “difficult, but necessary, step” and notes that the company was “significantly reducing our agent workforce and support teams.”
A company spokesperson confirmed the layoffs of “approximately 140” workers in Charlotte to WRAL TechWire on Tuesday afternoon, noting that those impacted were primarily in “licensed agent and support roles.”
The spokesperson added that the decision was made following “an extensive analysis” of the firm’s business needs.
The latest with layoffs
Despite stronger-than-expected hiring numbers in the latest US jobs report from July, layoffs are still being announced at large, mid-size, and small companies.
And hiring appears to have slowed since last month in the Triangle’s startup economy, based on the latest data compiled for the WRAL TechWire Jobs Report, released today.
The latest: Last week, Peloton announced it would lay off more workers, and more than 200 workers will lose their jobs in Johnston and Pitt Counties, according to three notices filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce earlier this month.
The rate and pace is accelerating, especially for startups
The latest data from Layoffs.FYI shows that globally, across all technology startups, there were about 37,613 publicly announced layoffs in the second quarter of 2022, compared to 9,829 the prior quarter, the previous high mark of any quarter since the third quarter of 2020. Those data were visualized by Bloomberg, which reported on Monday that tech startup companies still have a lot to learn about hiring—and firing—employees.
And in August, so far, Layoffs.FYI shows announced layoffs of at least 7,144 employees, through 2 PM ET on Monday, August 15, following at least 16,103 layoffs in July 2022. If the pace continues, that puts third quarter layoffs at approximately 46,000 globally.
Further, reports about job cuts continue to come out across the nation, despite the United States economy adding jobs in July at a pace that far exceeded most analyst’s expectations.
Most recent companies making layoffs
Here’s what’s changed since the last WRAL TechWire Layoff Watch:
- Aug. 14 – Arrival confirms to WRAL TechWire that the company has laid off 35 workers in Charlotte following a corporate restructuring impacting about 30% of global employees announced earlier this year.
- Aug. 12 – Peloton announces additional job cuts, after laying off workers earlier this year
- Aug. 11 – Layoffs announced in Johnston County and Pitt County, through the North Carolina Department of Commerce WARN report
- Aug. 9 – GoHealth announces 800 layoffs, including 150 in the Charlotte metropolitan area according to the Triad Business Journal
Other recent layoffs
- Aug. 4 – Robinhood will make layoffs of 23% of its workforce, a few months after slashing 9% of workers. This includes laying off 82 workers in Charlotte and closing the company’s office facility there, at which it had promised to hire nearly 400 workers not more than 18 months ago
- Aug. 4 – Walmart will cut 200 corporate jobs, according to a CNN report
- Aug. 4 – Jobless benefit applications are again on the rise, according to the U.S. Labor Department, which is a sign that more layoffs are occurring
- Aug. 2 – Job openings have plummeted since the last monthly survey, according to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest since September 2021
- Aug. 1 – Oracle reportedly to lay off thousands of workers
- July 29 – Cargo services firm in Charlotte cutting 154 workers
- July 27 – The latest survey results from NC TECH show that 1.6% of surveyed companies have laid off, considered making layoffs, or furloughed workers, and another 17.5% have already implemented a hiring freeze.
- July 27 – Automaker Rivian will lay off about 6% of its workforce, the founder and CEO sent in an email to employees (TechCrunch report.)
- July 26 – Layoffs at Shopify, with approximately 10% of global workforce slashed
More on layoffs announced earlier this year:
- Invitae announced it planned to lay off as many as 1,000 workers globally and Arrival, with a North American headquarters in Charlotte, announced it could cut 30% of its staff in the coming months. They’ll be making additional announcements in the coming weeks.
- Microsoft, which as recently as last month, told WRAL TechWire that it was hiring for hundreds of positions locally in the Triangle, has now also announced that it will cut hundreds of jobs. The firm is still hiring in North Carolina, according to the latest WRAL TechWire Jobs Report, though it does shows a drop off in the number of openings locally at the firm compared to earlier this year.
- Peloton, which had something of its own pandemic boom and bought a North Carolina company previously, announced it would no longer manufacture its own stationary exercise bicycles, and would lay off some 600 workers. (Editor’s Note: This was the first announcement from Peloton; the second announcement came last week.)
- And Biogen, which has a big presence in RTP, announced layoffs in a move to reduce costs last month, as well.
- Last month, technology startup Adwerx announced it would lay off 40 workers, citing “macroeconomic uncertainty.”