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Did you know over 7,500 employees were reportedly laid off by tech giants in January 2024?

Big Tech's "Year of Efficiency" may be over but recent layoffs at Google and Amazon have signaled the firms will keep cutting jobs in 2024 as they make big investments in generative AI. Overall, tech firms have let go more than 7,500 employees so far in January, according to tracking website Layoffs.fyi.

Did you know over 7500 employees were reportedly laid off by tech giants in January 2024 gcw
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First Published Jan 18, 2024, 10:27 AM IST

Although the "Year of Efficiency" for Big Tech may have ended, recent layoffs at Google and Amazon suggest the companies will continue to reduce staff in 2024 as they make significant investments in generative AI.

This year, according to analysts and industry experts, layoffs will likely be more targeted and smaller. Companies that are trying to catch up in the AI race are more likely to take this action in order to balance the billions of dollars they are investing on the technology.

Alphabet suggested that last week, saying it plans to invest in its "biggest priorities" as the Google parent laid off around a thousand employees across multiple divisions, including in its voice assistant unit and team responsible for Pixel and Fitbit.

According to a report, hundreds of positions were being slashed at the company, meaning that even its advertising sector was not spared.

Several hundred workers were let go by Amazon.com last week from its streaming and studio divisions. According to media sources, hundreds of positions were also eliminated from its Audible audiobook division and Twitch live-streaming site.

As of now in January, IT companies have let off almost 7,500 workers overall, according to the tracking website Layoffs.fyi.

Google and Amazon are making significant investments in artificial intelligence. In an attempt to catch up to Microsoft in the AI race, Google released their eagerly anticipated Gemini model last month. Meanwhile, Amazon is working on a model called "Olympus" to take on OpenAI's GPT-4 model, which is used to create ChatGPT.

However, given that tech investment is likely to increase as a result of a more stable economy, the overall amount of layoffs is anticipated to be far lower than the significant reductions made last year.

In 2023, the IT industry lost 168,032 jobs, making it the industry with the most layoffs overall, per a research released earlier this month by Challenger, Grey, and Christmas.

Tens of thousands of layoffs at Silicon Valley's biggest companies, such as Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta—whose CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, dubbed 2023 the "Year of Efficiency"—led those. Analysts and experts predict that the expenditure will raise investor expectations for the returns from genAI, but the payback for the majority of enterprises may take longer to materialise.

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