Tech

Amid tech industry cost-cutting, workers are getting worried

Over two-thirds of respondents to a new Blind survey are concerned about job security.
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Francis Scialabba

· 4 min read

More than 100,000 tech workers have been laid off so far in 2022, per Layoffs.fyi, a crowdsourced tracker. And the rising number has many tech workers feeling concerned about their jobs.

Nearly seven in 10 US tech workers feel less confident about their job security now than they did a year ago, according to a survey run by Blind, the anonymous professional networking platform, on behalf of Emerging Tech Brew from November 4 to November 7.

About 68% of respondents reported feeling less confident, 8% felt more confident, and 24% reported no change, compared to a year ago. Just 30% of respondents said they currently feel secure or very secure in their roles, while 41% said they feel either insecure or very insecure. Another 26% were ambivalent, saying they felt neither secure nor insecure.

“Optimism is quickly shrinking,” an employee of Nirvana Money, a Miami-based fintech startup, told us on condition of anonymity. Later, he said, “It’s just extremely disheartening every time you do your daily LinkedIn check, and, sure enough, one of your colleague’s colleague’s friends has been laid off. It just seems like it’s just one after another in recent weeks…Whether people want to admit that that affects them or not, psychologically it does because you always think, ‘Am I next?’”

He added, “No one is shielded from this at all—everyone’s on the chopping block, all the way up to the top.”

Soon after the source spoke with Emerging Tech Brew, the company told employees that Nirvana Money would shutter due to reasons including interest rates, the economic outlook, customer behavior, and unit economics, according to a screenshot of an email reviewed by Emerging Tech Brew.

The company—founded by former PayPal and Intuit CEO Bill Harris—had just debuted in late October.

Blind users must sign up for the site with their work email to help verify authenticity, and the survey received more than 8,500 responses from workers at 46 tech companies. Respondents’ employers included Big Tech companies, social media giants, mobility and delivery leaders, hardware heavyweights, and more.

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The largest section of respondents reported their role as software engineer (44%); followed by 13% who said they work in operations, finance, or HR. The rest were split across product management, data science or analytics, design, business development or sales, and marketing or communications.

Security slide

The survey results come as tech companies look to cut costs and reduce headcounts amid geopolitical uncertainty, rising energy and material costs, recession concerns, and a decline in ad spending.

Companies from Alphabet to Meta have recently announced plans to cut discretionary spending, slow hiring, initiate layoffs, and, as Microsoft CFO Amy Hood put it on the company’s Q3 earnings call, “do more with less.”

Blind ran a similar survey on its platform in June, in which it asked nearly 7,000 professionals about their jobs: 53% of respondents reported feeling less confident in their job security compared to one year ago, 9% felt more confident, and 38% reported no change.

While the two surveys aren’t directly comparable—the June 2022 survey encompassed professionals across industries rather than just tech workers—the higher percentage of respondents citing concerns about job security suggests such feelings may have become more acute in recent months.

One source—who works as a manager in business development at Amazon, and spoke on condition of anonymity—told us that she didn’t “feel very insecure” about her job because “we are already a lean team.”

Starting this week, Amazon plans to lay off approximately 10,000 employees, the New York Times reported Monday.

“It’s not like my whole division could be laid off to save costs,” she said. “So being in the business that I am, which is…not experimental or growth, gives me a sense of security.”

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