High-tech firms are announcing layoffs, hiring freezes

Last week's announcement that Netflix is laying off 300 workers — 3% of its staff — provided yet another worry that inflation in is tearing at the structure of the critical high-tech industry from where so many good jobs flow. 

"It's an industry that's had volatility and has its ups and down so now, I think we're entering a down cycle," said labor lawyer Michael Bernick, who was a former EDD Director. 

The Wall Street Journal reports some companies are following Twitter's lead of contacting some newly hired incoming college grads, to inform their hirings are off.

Professional networking and career development site LinkedIn says the tech sector is announcing layoffs, slowing job postings, initiating hiring freezes and rescinding job offers.  

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced its elimination 1,100 jobs. 

Earlier, Carvanna, Netflix, Facebook and Robinhood announced layoffs as inflation and stock market uncertainty prevail. 

"Some of the shocks we're absorbing at the moment and there are really an extraordinary number of them," said Gary Schlossberg of the Wells Fargo Investment Institute. Such swarms of shocks promote fear with other tech employers.

But, Bernick said, the most critical tech jobs remain on solid ground.

The information sector, that included part of the tech sector, the information  sector in California gained the largest number of jobs," said Bernick.

Tech layoff tracking site, Layoffs.fyi, reports that some 17,000 workers at some 70 tech startups globally were laid off in May alone. 

That's a 350% jump from April and the highest number since the peak of the pandemic in May 2020. 

In fact, since the pandemic began, remote work notwithstanding 850 startups have laid off some 138,500 employees worldwide. 

But, worldwide well more than 50 million people work in the information and communication technology, including 602,000 such jobs In California alone. 

"We've yet to see really a structural employment issue. The fundamentals of the industry as well as the fundamentals of tech employment are still very, very strong," said Bernick.