RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Thousands of jobs are open across the Triangle, big companies are still hiring, but layoffs continue in the region and across the state as the economy continues to take hits from rising interest rates, inflation and more. Which workers are the most vulnerable?
Chris Williams, a former vice president of human resources at Microsoft, tells Business Insider, people in these three types of positions are the most vulnerable:
- Contract workers
- Event planning or benefits employees
- Employees working on new initiatives
As for those thinking about changing jobs, staying put may be the best advice – at least here in the Triangle.
The Triangle is positioned to be more economically resilient than other areas, if the national economy were to be declared in a recession, said Dr. Michael Walden, an economist and regular contributor to WRAL TechWire.
“Workers should hang on to their jobs, and make themselves valuable so they can survive potential job cuts,” said Walden.
The DEI risk
Layoffs also pose a threat to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Harvard Business Reviews offers advice on how to protect these efforts.
“Savvy companies need to embed DEI into every stage of the employee lifecycle — including separations,” HBR reports.
Here’s the latest, from this week’s edition of the WRAL TechWire Layoff Watch.
Latest on layoffs
- Sept. 26: Cuts at Goldman Sachs
- Sept. 26: Cuts at Wells Fargo
- Sept. 22 – Pink Energy will shut down operations, according to a letter sent to all employees that was obtained by WRAL News. This came hours after a 5 On Your Side report about the company and its difficulties, and following a notice of facility closure and layoffs sent to the North Carolina Department of Commerce on September 12.
- Sept. 22 – Buy now, pay later company Klarna will make another round of layoffs, four months after the company cut its workforce by 10%, with the new cuts affecting fewer than 100 workers, according to a report from Sifted.
- Sept. 22 – Even as Google looks to implement cost-cutting moves and its CEO wants employees to be more efficient and productive, it seeks to hire more than 200 workers in the Triangle.
- Sept. 22 – Kittyhawk, the air taxi company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, will shut down, though a joint project with Boeing will continue.
- Sept. 21 – Job cuts still sweeping across technology sector, but Meta and Google aren’t likely to call such cuts layoffs, WRAL TechWire reported.
- Sept. 20 – Real estate firm Compass, which is backed by Softbank to the tune of about $1 billion, will again make layoffs to its technology team, according to a report from Bloomberg News.
- Sept. 19 – The number of open information technology jobs in North Carolina falls to an eight-month low, according to the latest data from NC TECH.
More companies making layoffs
- Sept. 15 – Amazon confirms to WRAL TechWire that a Durham facility that employs some 400 workers is being shut down, and a spokesperson tells WRAL TechWire that the company does not intend to lay off any workers, as every employee will be given the opportunity to transfer to another Amazon facility. Meanwhile, a group of Amazon employees who work in a Garner facility continue efforts to form a union.
- Sept. 14 – TRU Colors, a startup brewery in Wilmington, announced it would shut down, and serial entrepreneur and founder George Taylor explains why.
- Sept. 14 – The cloud firm Twilio cuts 11% of workers and CEO Jeff Lawson explains why in a letter, noting that the company used an “Anti-Racist” lens in determining which employees would be laid off.
- Sept. 12 – Coats American, Inc. will close a Hendersonville plant and lay off 51 workers by the end of November, according to a required legal notice sent by the company to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
- Sept. 12 – Pink Energy, a solar company headquartered in the Charlotte area, announced it would lay off 500 workers a few months after laying off 600 workers, with the CEO citing faulty equipment as the cause.
- Sept. 8 – Avaya, with headquarters in Durham, announced it would reduce its workforce in order to lower costs to “position Avaya as a more agile and innovative organization,” the company’s new CEO told WRAL TechWire in a statement. The number of layoffs is not known; but the company allocated $11 million to be used to cover costs associated with laying off workers, as WRAL TechWire reported in August.
- Sept. 7 – Pendo layoffs affect 45 workers, less than 5% of its workforce, with half of those layoffs occurring in the company’s Raleigh headquarters location. WRAL TechWire confirmed the layoffs on September 12.
- Sept. 2 – The latest data on the employment situation in the United States showed that the pace of job growth slowed in August but the economy added more jobs than expected during the month, a preliminary total of 315,000, though the unemployment rate increased as more people began to look for work and the labor force participation rate increased as well.
- Sept. 1 – Unemployment benefits claims fell, data showed.
August tech layoffs
Here’s a list of some of the layoffs that may affect North Carolina workers that occurred in August:
- Aug. 31 – Snapchat lays off about 20% of its global workforce of 6,400 workers.
- Aug. 29 – Keter, US, Inc. will lay off 68 workers in Stanley “due to changing business needs at the facility.”
- Aug. 29 – 67 employees at UNC Rockingham Hospital in Eden face job loss
- Aug. 29 – Pandemic ‘winners’ including Peloton, Wayfair, Netflix, Zoom… are now losers
- Aug. 26 – Novartis to close Wilson plant, affecting 240 workers.
- Aug. 25 – Better, which has an office in Charlotte, makes its fourth round of layoffs in 2022 according to TechCrunch. Those four rounds of layoffs followed a mass layoff of 900 workers via a Zoom meeting in December 2021.
- Aug. 25 – Outdoor furniture manufacturer Keter will lay off 68 workers from a Gaston County facility, according to a notice filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
- Aug. 25 – Amazon will shut down the hybrid virtual and in-home care service, Amazon Care
- Aug. 25 – Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits than the prior week, but the four-week average rose, the Associated Press reported.
- Aug. 22 – Ford announces layoffs of 3,000 white collar workers, CNN Business reported.
More August layoffs
- Aug. 22: NC TECH releases July 2022 IT Job Trends report, showing a significant drop in tech job openings month-over-month
- Aug. 19: Wayfair making layoffs globally
- Aug. 16: Centene cancels investment plans for a $1 billion campus in Charlotte
- 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 announced 800 layoffs, including 140 in the Charlotte area, a spokesperson confirmed to WRAL TechWire on August 16
Even more August tech 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
Layoffs announced in July
- 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
Other reports, tech layoffs
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 later in the summer.)
- And Biogen, which has a big presence in RTP, announced layoffs in a move to reduce costs last month, as well.
- Durham technology startup Adwerx announced it would lay off 40 workers, citing “macroeconomic uncertainty.”
More Triangle tech layoffs coverage