Google advertises approximately 12,000 jobs worldwide

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced 12,000 job cuts globally on Friday citing changing “economic realities,” becoming the latest US tech giant to embark on a massive restructuring.

The layoffs come a day after Microsoft said it would cut staff by 10,000 in the coming months, following similar cuts by Facebook owner Meta, Amazon and Twitter, as the previously underpowered technology sector faces a major economic slowdown.

Google vs. Labor Laws

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen periods of explosive growth. To keep up and support that growth, we’ve set an economic reality different from the one we face today,” Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees.

“We conducted a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure our people and roles align with our highest priorities as a company,” said Pichai, adding that the workforce will be reduced by approximately 12,000 jobs.

“The roles we eliminate reflect the outcome of that review.”

Alphabet employed approximately 187,000 workers worldwide at the end of September 2022. The cuts represent just over 6 percent of its total workforce.

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Pichai said that US employees have already been notified about the cuts while cuts in other countries will take longer due to local labor laws.

Pichai added that the cuts would be “across departments, jobs, levels of responsibility and regions.”

“The fact that these changes will affect the lives of Google employees weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that have led us here.”

– ‘Unsustainable’ –

Pichai announced severance packages for American employees, who will receive a minimum of 16 weeks salary, a 2022 bonus, paid vacation, and six months of health coverage.

He said he remains “optimistic about our ability to do our job, even on our toughest days”.

Wall Street welcomed the cuts: Alphabet shares rose 3.5 percent in pre-market electronic trading.

Analysts said the big tech guns have previously been overspending, and they don’t see a slowdown on the horizon.

Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities said the layoffs highlight irresponsible spending across a sector enjoying “excessive growth”.

“The reality is that powerful companies in tech have been overhiring at an unsustainable pace, and now an even darker macro is forcing these layoffs across the tech space,” he said.

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According to technology site, nearly 194,000 industry employees have lost their jobs in the US since the start of 2022, not including those announced by Alphabet on Friday.

Hewlett Packard and cloud computing giant Salesforce also announced deep cuts this month as rampant inflation and rising interest rates slowed growth.

American tech giants also face scrutiny in the European Union, which has begun imposing regulations to stop them avoiding taxes, stifling competition, profiting from news content without paying, and acting as platforms for disinformation and hate.

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