SEATTLE — Meta announced Wednesday that it will be laying off 11,000 employees in response to pandemic-related spending concerns. But Meta isn’t the only tech giant to be laid off; Twitter and Microsoft have also laid off employees in recent weeks. Even Amazon is currently under a hiring freeze due to concerns about the future of the economy.
Jeff Shulman is a professor of marketing at the University of Washington. He thinks tech layoffs like these could have a significant impact in the Seattle area.
“Amazon has been bringing people from around the world to Seattle for years; and now, to pause, this will have an effect not just in the tech community, but throughout the Pacific Northwest,” Shulman said.
He also says another problem it could create is lack of confidence in the market. He says that if people have less confidence in the market, the less money they will spend, which means less money is circulating in the local economy.
“Every time they feel confident spending money, it’s income for someone else. And when people lack confidence, that can be quite problematic,” Shulman said.
“And that (has) impacts on the tax base. This impacts all businesses here in the region,” Shulman said.
People KIRO 7 spoke to said that due to recent headlines about tech layoffs, they want to start paying attention to their own financial habits.
“But hearing these headlines makes me start to think I should probably start thinking about it a bit,” said Mark Fitzgerald.
Economic experts KIRO 7 spoke to say these tech layoffs are not a sign that a recession is on the horizon.
“I would say that (these) actions are a response to the efforts of the central bank. Some people will argue that these efforts are actually pushing the economy into recession,” said Seattle University economics professor Vlad Dashkeev.
Dashkeev says companies like Amazon may be on a hiring freeze for certain jobs, but says they would still hire for positions in need. He also believes that what these tech companies are producing is also a sign that a recession is not necessarily going to happen.
“They’re still producing very important software, with very important IT services that are really needed across the economy,” Dashkeev said.
With uncertainty about the future, people always hope for the best.
“I think we’ve heard that the job market is really strong. So that kind of kept people confident, I guess, in a way,” Fitzgerald said.
KIRO 7 reached out to Meta to find out exactly how many Pacific Northwest employees have been laid off. Once they respond, this story will be updated.
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