Over the past week, Silicon Valley companies have laid off 20,000 employees, a swift ramp-up of the job cuts and hiring freezes that have been ricocheting through the tech industry for months.
Twitter, Facebook parent Meta, payment platform Stripe, software service firm Salesforce, ride-hailing company Lyft and a growing list of smaller companies all laid off double-digit percentages of their workers. That means tens of thousands of engineers, salespeople and support staff in one of the country’s most important and highest-paying industries are out of a job. Meanwhile, other companies including Google and Amazon have recently instated hiring slowdowns and freezes.
The departures are solidifying a feeling in Silicon Valley that the bull market of the past decade — which created massive amounts of wealth for tech investors, workers and the broader economy — is decidedly over, conjuring an image of what the rest of the economy could experience if a predicted recession materializes.
“It does feel a little like 2000,” said Lise Buyer, a longtime tech analyst, executive and investor, referring to the turn-of-the-century dot-com crash. “Hire engineers, hire engineers, hire engineers, and then suddenly companies get a cold bucket of water in their face.”