Apple lays off more than 600 workers in California in its first major round of post-pandemic cuts

Apple is laying off more than 600 workers in California, marking the company’s first big wave of post-pandemic job cuts amid a broader wave of tech industry consolidation.

The iPhone maker notified 614 workers in multiple offices on March 28 that they were losing their jobs, with the layoffs becoming effective on May 27, according to filings with the state's Employment Development Department, or EDD.

The workers were cut from eight offices in Santa Clara, according to the filings under the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, also known as WARN. Attorneys representing Apple submitted a WARN report to EDD last week. KTVU obtained a copy of that report through a public records request, though the report did not make clear which departments or projects the employees were involved in.

Among the many cuts, hundreds of product design engineers, hardware developers, software engineers as well as a handful of machine shop managers were let go, and their positions are permanently eliminated.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Friday and their legal counsel did not return requests for inquiries.

Tech experts believe those workers were part of Apple's "Project Titan," which focused on creating a self-driving vehicle. Some of those employees may instead now work in the field of artificial intelligence.

"It's clear that making more complex, different types of products is hard," said freelance technology reporter Ian Sherr. "Artificial intelligence, by comparison, is very much within the wheelhouse of Apple making software. So, in a lot of ways, it makes more sense to put more effort toward that."

The Cupertino, California, company had been a notable exception as other tech companies slashed their workforces over the past two years. There was a massive surge in hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people spent more time and money online, and big tech companies are still larger than they were before the pandemic. Still, as growth slows, companies are focusing on cutting costs.

Amazon announced earlier this week a fresh round of layoffs, this time at its cloud computing business AWS. In recent months, video game maker Electronic Arts said it’s cutting about 5% of its workforce, Sony said its axing about 900 jobs in its PlayStation division, Cisco Systems revealed plans to lay off more than 4,000 workers and social media company Snap, owner of Snapchat, announced its slashing 10% of its global workforce.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.