Microsoft axes 5% of the workforce as part of tech industry cull

Alexia Pedersen, VP of EMEA at O’Reilly

“Redundancies are not made lightly. Organisations are considering several factors and deciding to reduce costs given the current economic uncertainty, with forecasted numbers showing a reduced demand for services and products.  

“The technology sector stands out because there has been a period of rapid acceleration in digital transformation over recent years. This was accentuated by the pandemic, as many businesses had to rapidly move to an online presence in a very short timeframe. New skill sets were hired, and employees were upskilled to help organisations transition. Some of these projects have now been completed and talent is no longer required, whilst some of these projects are still underway, budgets are being cut in line with the economic projections being suggested by many economists.  

“Britain currently has its lowest unemployment rate since 1974, and while the tech sector has taken a global hit, the UK hasn’t felt it so strongly. While headlines emphasising the mass layoffs dominate the media, the numbers aren’t matching up. At Meta, 650 staff out of 11,000 total were laid off in the UK, yet the roles for tech companies remain open.  

“Some tech companies will want to take a cautious view and prepare for what may lie ahead by reducing costs, but the situation in the UK isn’t necessarily mirroring the global trend.”

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