Fired employees find it hard to get jobs amid recession fears

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It’s an anxious time for tens of thousands of newly laid-off workers amid inflation pressures and recession concerns…reports Asian Lite News

As thousands of techies lose jobs at Big Tech companies, most of them are finding it difficult to get jobs, as there is a freeze on new hirings at nearly every top firm, amid global macroeconomic conditions and recession fears.

Meta, Twitter, Salesforce, Lyft, Stripe, Uber and tech giants like Microsoft and Google, have laid off employees as well as put a total freeze on new hirings.

Indian-origin Nilesh Bhandare, 39, was a data engineer at Twitter. He told the San Francisco Chronicle that he has seen a dramatic turnaround in job availability in the market.

“While lots of recruiters have approached him, only about 20 per cent are focused on full-time positions. The rest are seeking contract workers — who can more easily be let go,” the report said.

The last time Bhandare scouted for jobs, the situation was entirely different.

“My take is, no one wants to commit now for full time, because companies are not sure about the economic situation,” Bhandare was quoted as saying in the report.

It’s an anxious time for tens of thousands of newly laid-off workers amid inflation pressures and recession concerns.

“Data suggests San Francisco’s tech industry has been losing jobs for months,” the report mentioned.

In January, there were 41,718 tech job listings in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont metro area, according to job-hunting site ZipRecruiter.

“By November 1, the jobs had plunged to 27,919 — down a third,” said the report.

Jobs in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area fell by a third, going from 28,421 tech job openings on January 1 to 18,748 on November 1.

“We have seen labour market conditions deteriorate very substantially in a slice of the labour market,” Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter chief economist, was quoted as saying.

Some people who were in earlier rounds of layoffs got jobs but even they are pessimistic about the current market.

Several Indian-origin people are left in the lurch as the clock is ticking for them as they are on work visas.

Himanshu V, an IIT-Kharagpur graduate who earlier worked at GitHub, Adobe and Flipkart, lost job at Meta.

“I relocated to Canada to join #Meta and 2 days after joining, my journey came to an end as I am impacted by the massive layoff,” Himanshu said in a LinkedIn post.

Raju Kadam, who worked at Meta for nine months, said he wasn’t expecting to be laid off as he had had “strong performance in all quarters” since joining the social network.

“It abruptly came to an end. My clock to leave the USA has started today…help me find a job, otherwise I have to leave the USA with my kids,” Kadam said, posting a picture of his sons, Arjun and Yash, in the US.

He said that he has been in the US for 16 years now and has seen the worst downturns, “but I never lost my job”.

“I will do whatever in my power to give them the best opportunity to succeed in the USA. Hence, I need a new job in the USA ASAP,” Kadam posted on LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, Disney has reportedly planned to reduce its workforce and freeze hiring.

According to an internal leaked memo from Disney CEO Bob Chapek, seen by CNBC, the company is “limiting headcount additions through a targeted hiring freeze”.

“Hiring for the small subset of the most critical, business-driving positions will continue, but all other roles are on hold. Your segment leaders and HR teams have more specific details on how this will apply to your teams”, he wrote.

Approximately 190,000 people work at Disney.

“As we work through this evaluation process, we will look at every avenue of operations and labour to find savings, and we do anticipate some staff reductions as part of this review,” said Chapek.

He also advised executives to only take necessary business travels. Virtual meetings should be conducted as often as possible.

Additionally, the company has planned to create “a cost structure taskforce”.

“I am fully aware this will be a difficult process for many of you and your teams,” Chapek mentioned.

Chapek has predicted that the company will become profitable by the end of 2024.

“We are going to have to make tough and uncomfortable decisions. But that is just what leadership requires, and I thank you in advance for stepping up during this important time” he added.

The actions were taken after the company released disappointing quarterly results.

Global revenues for The Walt Disney Company decreased 18 per cent to $1.1 billion and operating income dropped 18 per cent to $0.1 billion, owing to a decrease in advertising revenue due to lower average viewership, especially in India where there was no cricket in the September quarter.

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