Watch CBS News

Twitter layoffs part of a larger trend in tech industry

Twitter layoffs draw attention but tech job losses are widespread
Twitter layoffs draw attention but tech job losses are widespread 04:27

SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter's downsizing might be hogging the spotlight, but the social media giant does not stand alone. The tech industry has seen months of steady layoffs now, affecting many across the Bay Area.

"In the back of your mind, I guess, you expect that it could happen," 'Bart' said of his layoff notice. "But it was pretty sudden."

'Bart', who would rather not reveal his identity, worked for Stripe until Thursday. Like a lot of tech companies, the online payment giant, which has its US headquarters in South San Francisco, saw a boom during the pandemic. Now it's cutting 14% of its staff.

"I think a lot of people over hired, that is a big part of it," he said of the industry wide layoffs. "A lot of companies had a lot of growth during COVID and over hired."

"This is a rebalancing," explained Olaf Groth, a professor at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and CEO of Cambrian Futures. "I think that it was coming. Like we had in 2000, and I think it's going to happen periodically, yes."

Groth says the tech world has seen layoffs every three to five years, so that's not uncommon. What's different is this macroeconomic landscape. Inflation, geopolitical turmoil, and continuing talk of a looming recession paint things in a different light.

"But the good news is that there is hiring going on, which is why I'm calling it a rebalancing," Groth said. 

"Hopefully, in that balancing, we will get to that soft landing. If everybody was laying off then we'd have a fear of hard, rude awakening next year. But this way, with two steps forward, one step back, hopefully we can calibrate this so it doesn't become a wholesale bust in the economy."

"I think it's quite different," Bart said of this round of layoffs compared to previous years. "I do think it's gonna bounce back. For whatever it's worth, my inbox is pretty flooded. People are still hiring."

Widespread layoffs, and people still hiring. It's another sign of a complex, jumbled economy. And that's enough for Bart to be cautiously optimistic on this first day after losing his job,

"Going to use some time to recoup and figure out what's next," Bart said of his near term future. "But there's opportunity out there. So it's not totally dry, which is great."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.