• Economist explains effect of Microsoft layoffs

    By: Essex Porter


    Microsoft said it is laying off 18,000 employees worldwide in the next year, 13,000 in the first wave. The company says approximately 1,300 will be laid off in the Puget Sound Region. That’s roughly 3 percent of the 43,000 employees in the Seattle area.

    Regional Economist Dick Conway said each Microsoft job injects enough money into the economy to support three additional jobs. Still, Conway said “no” when asked if the layoffs will have any impact on the average person here. He said that’s because the booming local economy has 1.9 million jobs and is creating 5,000 jobs a month. 

    “Some of them are one of the fastest-growing companies, Amazon,” Conway said. He believes salaries for many jobs at Amazon office pay similar to Microsoft.

    Still, Geek Wire’s Todd Bishop said the layoffs come as a shock.

    “It is a shock because the company really hasn’t done anything on this level of this type in the past,” Bishop said.

     Bishop said little should change for consumers using Microsoft products, except that the company should be more nimble.

     “You won't see them coming out with a smartphone three years behind Apple. You'll see them really getting into things like (wearable devices) and other types of new and emerging technologies,” he said.


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