Tech layoffs and hiring freezes, including at Meta, Amazon

Facebook parent company Meta is planning to lay off employees this week, according to reports from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

No numbers have been shared, but reports say those layoffs could be significant and expected by the end of this week.

It comes as Amazon announced Thursday that it is freezing corporate hiring because of economic uncertainty.

In a public statement, Amazon said “in light of how many people (the company) hired in the last few years” it was hitting pause on hiring not only corporate positions but also at “other businesses” owned by Amazon.

Last month, Microsoft also announced layoffs, letting go of about 1,000 employees.

KIRO 7 spoke with two professors at the University of Washington and Seattle University about what these changes to the tech sector mean for our local economy.

“I think people are starting to ask themselves, am I next? So there’s a certain amount of fear that’s spreading throughout tech,” said Jeffery Shulman, professor of marketing at the UW Foster School of Business. “And when people ask if they’re next, that uncertainty drives saving. Saving means less spending on where they’re spending their money before.”

But an economist at Seattle U says these adjustments are a “reasonable business strategy.” He points out that given the low unemployment overall, he believes the economy will not suffer too hard a hit.

“There are factors that suggest a recession is not going to be long or painful,” said Vladimir Dashkeev, Seattle University assistant professor at the Albers School of Business and Economics.

That means people will still be buying goods and providing services in return, so the economy should not feel too much pain.

Amazon says it still plans to hire a “meaningful number” of people next year and will reassess current hiring freezes in a few months.