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