As 2024 gets rolling, companies are still cutting costs, with Amazon being the latest big company to do layoffs. The near future could bring more.
“We saw a big surge of hiring … when people went online in 2020,” said Brett House, professor in the economics division at Columbia Business School. “These layoffs are being driven by a return of pre-pandemic employment levels.”
Many employers are still downsizing because of overly optimistic projections, consumers’ changing habits, technological advances such as generative artificial intelligence, and macroeconomic pressures. Whether your job has been cut or you worry you could see a layoff soon, there are several things you can do to get a head start on your next steps. Job experts suggest that it’s never a bad idea to be prepared.
When it comes to layoffs, most are hitting the tech and financial sectors, House said, with major employers such as Microsoft, Salesforce, Google and Meta slashing thousands of jobs within the past year. On Wednesday, Amazon said that it planned to lay off hundreds of Prime and MGM Studios workers, as well as 500 at Twitch, its live-streaming service focused on gaming.
Other big companies such as Walmart, Morgan Stanley and Disney also made cuts, putting many workers back in the job market. This week, Wall Street giant BlackRock told employees that it planned to cut 600 jobs, and San Francisco-based gaming company Unity announced about 1,800 cuts.
Overall, the labor market is strong, and hiring has continued despite the cuts, House said. Layoffs will probably continue for the next few months as companies adjust, but barring a major event, such as a recession, House expects the big cuts to die down later this year.
For workers facing a potential layoff or for those who already have been cut, the stress of job hunting can be overwhelming. Help Desk can assist you in navigating the process, such as by informing you of what to do before returning your work devices, helping you prepare for an AI interview, and offering best practices for getting noticed by your next employer.