Meta will reportedly slash thousands of jobs this week

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly set to lay off thousands of workers as early as this week. Late last year, the company also cut the jobs of 11,000 employees.

The tech experts I spoke with say these job cuts are a result of the additional hiring that happened during the pandemic. People are not online like they were during then, so they’re making cuts to be more efficient. 

"They realized that they hired more than what they needed. So now they, even at Meta, they’re calling it the year of efficiency. Basically, trying to do more with the resources we have," said Ahmed Banafa, San Jose State Engineering Professor and tech expert.  

A mass layoff is expected soon at Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. As inflation and the threat of a deep recession linger on, experts say the tech industry continues to make adjustments including using another technology to simplify tasks that employees would do in the past. 

"Why should I have five to six people to do the research, if I can go to that Chat GTP and ask that question and summarize for me and do it? We’ve seen that this is one of the hidden factors that’s creeping into the market, where we use AI instead of using a staff," Banafa said.  

Banafa says Silicon Valley is still in good shape and the unemployment rate for tech workers is at about 2%. He says now tech workers have transferrable skills that are needed at most companies. Other industry insiders say Meta, like other tech companies, is simply course-correcting after major growth. 

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"So we saw just absolutely rapid growth over the last decade and I think a lot of these companies created a product and people are using that product or service, and it just isn’t possible to rapidly grow forever, right?" said Abby Raisz, Research Manager for the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. 

Still the layoffs have some lawmakers in Sacramento concerned. Last month, Assembly Bill 1356 was introduced to strengthen mass layoff protections millions of workers in California. Raisz says no one really thinks the tech industry is falling off but simply moving in a different direction. 

"I think it’s sort of a big question mark, but again I think a lot of tech companies are maybe starting to think outside of that growth mindset and into diversifying their products and services, or expanding to other markets," Raisz said.  

Meta also saw its first decline in ad revenue last year and that was most likely the start of its strategy to reorganize.