Editor’s note: Layoff Watch is a regularly updated report exclusive to WRAL TechWire about job cuts and trends primarily in the high tech sector of the economy.
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Layoffs continue to pile up in the tech economy, but in North Carolina, there were the fewest number of mass layoff events and the fewest number of workers affected by a mass layoff in at least 25 years, according to a WRAL TechWire analysis of North Carolina Department of Commerce data.
Still, layoffs are sweeping across the technology sector, including impacting some in North Carolina, here in the first few weeks of 2023.
Headline examples: Today, Coinbase announced it would cut 20% of its workforce, about 950 workers, the second time the company has cut jobs in the last year. And, Cisco has begun layoffs and StitchFix announced it would cut 20% of its workforce. Also, last week, Salesforce said it was cutting staff by 10%.
Some laid off workers are forming communities online, including on LinkedIn, WRAL TechWire and CNN reported earlier this week.
But it’s possible that the U.S. economy could slip into a recession without hundreds of thousands of workers getting axed, Dr. Michael Walden, an economist, wrote earlier this month.
Still, Walden said at an event last week that unemployment in Cary and across the Triangle is likely to tick upwards during 2023 and that 50,000 workers in North Carolina could be terminated by their employers in 2023.
Tech sector woes continue into 2023
Even without an active recession, job losses in the tech sector are already mounting in 2023. Through mid-day on January 10, there had been at least 18,392 workers affected by tech layoffs at 37 different companies, according to a database maintained by Layoffs.FYI.
That comes after 2022, when there were 1,013 tech companies that decided to cut jobs in 2022, with at least 153,160 employees laid off, as tracked by Layoffs.FYI.
The latest layoffs include:
- Jan. 10: Mass layoffs, plant closures in North Carolina hit lowest levels in at least 25 years despite a slowing economy
- Jan. 9: A perfect storm hits: Layoffs going from bad to worse in Silicon Valley
- Jan. 9: Tech sector employment climbs for 25th straight month, but layoffs are surging
- Jan. 6: Cisco cutting hundreds of jobs
- Jan. 5: Amazon to cut 18,000 jobs, the biggest round of layoffs in the tech giant’s history
- Jan. 5: StitchFix to cut 20% of workforce
- Jan. 4: Salesforce cutting more than 7,300 jobs
Late December layoffs
Here’s the latest on layoffs, from this week’s edition of the WRAL TechWire Layoff Watch, which tracks job cuts and layoff news dating back to July.
- Dec. 23: More job cuts at Twitter as attorney files lawsuit against the company, representing about 100 former Twitter employees
- Dec. 21: Chinese tech giant Xiaomi cuts thousands of jobs with “routine” streamlining
- Dec. 19: Kinston jet charter company flyExclusive, which plans to go public, cuts 55 jobs
- Dec. 15: Layoffs and plant closures in North Carolina hit their lowest level in 25 years, despite a slowing economy
- Dec. 15: Washington Post joins list of media organizations with “brutal layoffs”
- Dec. 13: Tech job cuts are growing, but not an indicator of a coming recession, according to Goldman Sachs
Early December layoffs
Layoffs continued to sweep across the Triangle and the nation in the early part of December, despite the coming winter holidays.
- Dec. 12: Cisco begins to lay off workers, including in Research Triangle Park
- Dec. 9: Lenovo is conducting layoffs, but denies severity
- Dec. 9: N-able is cutting jobs even as it continues to hire in the Triangle
- Dec. 9: Former Twitter employees are suing the company due to mass layoffs
- Dec. 7: Hayward Industries will lay off 57 workers in Forsyth County
- Dec. 5: PepsiCo will lay off “hundreds” of workers, the Wall Street Journal reports
- Dec. 5: Pinterest will lay off workers, including some of its recruiters, The Information reports
- Dec. 5: Cycling app company Strava will lay off about 15% of its workforce, according to an industry publication
- Dec. 2: Amazon layoffs could be larger than expected, a report claims
- Dec. 1: Amazon CEO on layoffs: “We just felt like we needed to streamline our costs”
- Dec. 1: Laid off workers may still be in demand for open jobs at small and mid-sized companies
Late November layoffs
Here’s the latest, from this week’s edition of the WRAL TechWire Layoff Watch which tracks job cuts and layoff news dating back to July.
- Nov. 30: Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken lays off 1,100
- Nov. 30: CNN announces layoffs, a ‘gut punch’ to hundreds of workers
- Nov. 30: Doordash will lay off 1,250 corporate workers as a part of a cost-cutting initiative
- Nov. 29: AMC Networks will make “significant layoffs,” CNBC reported
- Nov. 23: HP will lay off 6,000 workers
- Nov. 18: Mass exodus at Twitter
- Nov. 18: Carvana cuts 1,500 jobs
- Nov. 18: Job cuts at Amazon to continue into 2023
- Nov. 17: Cisco to cut some 4,100 jobs
- Nov. 14: Amazon to cut 10,000 jobs
- Nov. 14: Elon Musk decides to cut ties with Twitter contractors, the AP reported
- Nov. 14: Disney will freeze hiring and could cut some jobs as well, CNN and Reuters reported.
Early November layoffs
- Nov. 10: Science 37, which moved its headquarters to RTP last year, will cut 90 employees, disclosing it during reporting quarterly earnings. The news was reported by the Triangle Business Journal on Monday.
- Nov. 10: Juul Labs, which has a presence in Durham, will lay off 400 workers
- Nov. 9: Redfin will shut down RedfinNow, the company’s instant buying program that only recently became active in North Carolina, and will cut nearly 900 jobs across the company.
- Nov. 9: Meta will lay off 11,000 workers. Later, Facebook founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg took accountability for the job cuts.
- Nov. 8: Facing layoffs? Here’s what to know.
- Nov. 7: Meta will cut thousands of jobs, according to multiple media reports
- Nov. 7: Tech layoffs and hiring freezes are casting a shadow on the US economy
- Nov. 4: Twitter began to lay off workers, with an estimated 3,700 workers affected by the layoffs
- Nov. 4: Layoffs also hit Stripe, Chime, Opendoor, and more
- Nov. 4: Apple will implement a hiring freeze for corporate workers.
- Nov. 3: Lyft will cut 13% of its workforce, about 700 workers
- Nov. 3: Amazon announces it will ‘pause’ on new hires for corporate roles
- Nov. 3: American Merchandising Specialists laying off NC workers amidst national job cuts
Late October layoffs
- Oct. 27: Elon Musk completed the purchase of Twitter, and reportedly ordered job cuts, immediately, including the firing of three senior executives.
- Oct. 27: Automotive supplier GKN is closing its Sanford facility and will lay off 47 workers
- Oct. 27: Credit Suisse will cut thousands of jobs in a “radical” restructuring effort.
- Oct. 26: Life science firm Medicago will cut 62 workers in a restructuring move.
- Oct. 26: Zillow laid off 300 workers in order to focus on technology, with layoffs impacting Zillow Offers advisors, sales and back-end staff at Zillow Home Loans and Zillow Closing services, and other teams, TechCrunch reported. Zillow previously shut down Zillow Offers in the Triangle.
- Oct. 20: U.K. company Arrival, which operates its U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, disclosed in a statement ahead of its earnings report next month that the company will “restructure its business to focus resources on a family of Van products for the US market.” The firm announced job cuts, including ones that could impact workers in Charlotte, earlier this year. (The company has not yet responded to a request for comment from WRAL TechWire about how its announced restructuring plan will impact its North Carolina workforce.)
- Oct. 19: Delivery company Gopuff, which has a North Carolina footprint and an office in Raleigh, is laying off more workers, Bloomberg reported. A TechCrunch database notes that the company initially made layoffs in March, more followed in July, and a third round was announced in October, with about 2,200 total layoffs.
- Oct. 19: Two property technology companies Zeus Living, based in San Francisco and Clever Real Estate, based in St. Louis announced layoffs amidst concerns of a housing market slowdown.
Early October layoffs
- Oct. 14: Beyond Meat lays off nearly one in five workers, or 19% of its workforce, as sales are lower than anticipated and the company is cutting back, according to CNBC.
- Oct. 12: Salesforce makes job cuts and announces a hiring freeze, according to Protocol
- Oct. 11: Noom lays off about 10% of its workforce, or about 500 workers, according to TechCrunch, mostly among the company’s coaches, the second-such layoffs this year
- Oct. 11: Udacity founder, president, and now executive chairman Sebastian Thrun announced layoffs of 13% of its workforce, or 55 workers, citing “increasing market headwinds.”
- Oct. 7: Impossible Foods is making layoffs, again, with an estimated 50 workers to get cut, according to SF Gate. That follows layoffs made earlier this year.
- Oct. 6: Peloton will – again – lay off hundreds of workers in a move to “save” the company, according to its CEO
- Oct. 6: Spotify will lay off less than 5% of its podcast staff, cancelling 11 original podcasts, according to a TechCrunch report
- Oct. 6: The so-called “crypto winter” continues, as Crypto.com will lay off an undisclosed number of workers. Originally, a report from Ad Age suggested the layoffs could have impacted about 30% of the company’s remaining workforce, after it laid off more than 200 workers earlier in the year, but Tech in Asia reported on October 10 that the company said that was “inaccurate” despite Ad Age reporting that a spokesperson for the company did confirm there had been “targeted job reductions”
Late September layoffs
- Sept. 30: Google will shutter gaming studio Stadia
- Sept. 30: Ashley Furniture shutting down Statesville, N.C., plant, with 111 affected workers
- Sept. 30: Tech-enabled healthcare company Kepro laying off nearly 100 NC workers
- Sept. 30: JPMorgan Chase is expanding in North Carolina and, according to Reuters, plans to hire some 2,000 workers. But that doesn’t mean CEO Jamie Dimon believes there’s not a recession coming. Instead, Dimon told WRAL last week that there is “probably” a recession on the way.
- Sept. 29: Meta has enacted a hiring freeze, according to Bloomberg and Forbes, and engadget reports that CEO Mark Zuckerberg also told employees there could be further restructuring or layoffs
- Sept. 28: SoftBank will cut 150 of the 500 workers employed by the Vision Fund, the venture capital arm of the company, Bloomberg reported
- Sept. 28: DocuSign to lay off 671 workers, 9% of company, as housing market slows, SF Gate reports. A day earlier, Divvy Homes, a startup backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global Management, laid off about 12% of workers, according to The Information.
- Sept. 27: Which workers are most vulnerable to layoffs?
More September 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
Even More September 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.
Early September layoffs
- 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