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What big companies have already laid off employees in January 2023?

More than fifty-thousand workers are to be laid off this month, which companies are involved?

A man stands inside the Microsoft Experience Center in New York City, U.S., January 18, 2023.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Since early 2021, one of the most common grievances voiced by the private sector in the United States has centered on the difficulties they are facing to attract and retain workers. The economic crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic created one of the tightest labor markets in recent memory, giving workers more power to demand higher wages and better conditions and benefits.

However, as inflation began to pick up, many of these wage increases were erased. To combat inflation, the Federal Reserve began to increase interest rates, which, combined with continued economic uncertainty and corporate profit-seeking behavior, has led many high-profile companies to announce massive layoffs. All of this comes as the “Information” sector, which broadly covers many of the largest tech companies, broadcasting/telecommunications firms, and information/data processing service providers, rakes in record profits. While companies were not on track to surpass their profits in 2021, the levels seen in 2022 were still far above those recorded in 2019 and 2020.

Corporate Profits | Information Sector (Billions USD)

  Quarter 1 Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Total 
2019 $136.4 $144  $111.4 $141.1  $532.9
2020 $136.3 $117.9 $149.9 $150.9 $555
2021 $152 $166 $159.2 $159.4 $636.6
2022 $161.7 $151.8 $152.4 N/A $465.9 
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis 

How many layoffs were announced in January?

Just this month,, a site dedicated to tracking layoffs has recorded over 50,000 in the United States from 124 companies. Some announcements made headlines as executives at significant firms like Meta, Google’s parent company Alphabet, Amazon, Lyft, and Microsoft have decided to shed between four to six percent of their workforce. Over half of the firings slated for this month come from these major companies.

Which major companies have announced layoffs?

  • Amazon: 8,000 (2% of workforce) 
  • Google: 12,000 (6% of workforce) 
  • Microsoft: 10,000 (5% of workforce) 
  • Salesforce: 8,000 (10% of workforce) 
  • Wayfair: 1,750 (10% of workforce) 
  • Capital One: 1,100 (N/A) 


In November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 40,000 layoffs in the ‘Information’ industry, meaning that the numbers this month are only slightly above what was recorded in late 2022. The economy-wide data on layoffs for January will not be available until March, at which point economists and policymakers will be able to gauge how the happenings in the tech sector are impacting the labor market overall. Some experts believe that under these monetary conditions, layoffs could move beyond tech and begin to affect lower-income workers in other sectors.

What these announcements have shown the public and many workers at these firms is that no one’s job is “safe.” So long as companies are willing to provide severance packages that align with labor laws, there is nothing stopping companies from purging workers when they are looking for a quick way to cut costs.


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