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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Rise Of Tech Layoffs

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By Zachary Emmanuel

Roger Lee is an Internet entrepreneur based in San Francisco. He is the co-founder of Human Interest, a digital 401(k) provider used by over 10,000 small businesses.
He is also the creator of Layoffs.fyi, a personal project that’s tracking all tech layoffs since COVID-19.

Recently he co-founded Comprehensive, an all-in-one employee compensation platform.
As a teenager, he co-founded SubProfile Network, which owned 3 of the 10 most visited websites on the Internet by teens in 2003.

Roger Lee graduated from Harvard University with a degree in applied mathematics.

There has been a significant increase in the Tech Layoffs from the past year and it is very tasking counting the layoffs accurately for all the tech companies. You founded a brilliant platform https://layoffs.fyi/ that simplifies this data in real time. What lead you to creating this start up ?

For background, I’m a startup founder based in San Francisco. Most notably, I started Human Interest, a digital 401(k) provider valued at $1B.

When COVID-19 became a pandemic in early 2020, I realized it was going to lead to a surge in startup layoffs. At the same time, I knew there were many tech companies (like my own startup, Human Interest) that were in a fortunate position to still be hiring.

I created Layoffs.fyi as a side project to create awareness around all of these tech layoffs, in the hopes of helping laid-off employees find a home at one of the startups still fortunate to be hiring. It turns out that the site also became a useful resource for the general tech community.

“Throughout history the economy has gone through boom and bust cycles, and I believe the current downturn is no exception. ”

  Looking at the data, there were 160,000 tech employees laid off in 2021 and in January 2023 alone, a whooping 84,000 tech employees were laid off. What trends are you noticing between the big and small tech companies in terms the numbers of employees layoffs?

“Throughout history the economy has gone through boom and bust cycles, and I believe the current downturn is no exception. ”

When tech layoffs first started to tick up in Q2 2022, they were mostly concentrated within smaller startups. However, starting in Q4 2022, the layoffs started hitting every sector within tech — big tech companies included.

In fact, from October 2022 through January 2023, 147,000 tech employees were laid off — nearly half of them came from Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Salesforce alone!

Big Layoffs tend to be the early signs of a recession with the smaller Tech companies usually being the first sets of companies to fall. Do you think this might push the overall Tech sector into a deep recession?

Despite the growing number of tech layoffs, there’s still reason for hope. Our team recently launched Comprehensive.io, a free website that tracks the salary ranges of the top ~1,000 tech companies and startups (in a way, it’s the inverse of Layoffs.fyi).

The data shows that there are still plenty of jobs available (over 65,000 active job posts across these 1,000 tech companies), and that salaries are still very healthy (the average salary range posted for a Software Engineer is $130,000-$198,000 USD).


You have founded and sold successful startups, the current economic climate is increasingly difficult to have a successful Tech startup. Are we seeing a slow end to Tech innovations in general?

Throughout history the economy has gone through boom and bust cycles, and I believe the current downturn is no exception. The tech industry rebounded stronger than ever after the dot-com crash and the Great Recession, and I believe the same will happen again this time.

Technology is key in today’s world but yet there is a grim outlook for new innovations especially with the recession looming, is there a particular Tech sector that you think might be recession proof?

AI is looking very promising right now 🙂


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