UBS Among Latest to Cut Jobs
Massive layoffs at tech giants like Meta and Microsoft dominate the headlines, but they don’t tell the whole story. Here’s a full look at job cuts around the world.
April 4, 2023, 12:00 UTC
UBS Group AG’s reported plan to lay off up to 36,000 workers would make it the company with the biggest job cuts in the world in the past six months.
The cuts, which could reduce the combined workforce by up to 30%, are part of UBS’s takeover of longtime rival Credit Suisse Group AG. Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann apologized at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting for failing to save the 167-year-old lender.
The layoffs follow last month’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which sent shockwaves through an economy already reeling from mass layoffs and under pressure from central banks locked in a major battle with inflation — heightening the risk of recession and even bigger. job losses.
While the U.S. economy has so far remained strong, adding 311,000 jobs in February after adding more than half a million jobs in January, the central bank’s increasingly aggressive rate hike campaign could expose more weakness in banks with interest rate risk, such as SVB. and startups that rely heavily on venture capital funding to maintain operations and payroll.
The pace of layoffs that began late last year is unabated, marking the worst start to a year since 2009, with 52,000 jobs lost in one week in January alone. Since Oct. 1, executives across all sectors have laid off almost 538,000 workers worldwide, according to a comprehensive review of layoffs by Bloomberg News.
Weekly work shortens the ebb and flow across sectors
Note: Data includes layoffs announced by the number of jobs or the share of the workforce cut from October 1, 2022 through April 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Weekly aggregated data for holidays ending on Sundays. Source: Data compiled by Bloomberg
Second only to UBS, Amazon.com Inc will shed about 30,000 jobs with the latest round of layoffs announced on March 20. Meta Platforms Inc. ranks third, with 21,000 roles eliminated. But they are just three of 760 firms that have cut more than half a million jobs since October, with the average layoff leaving the company’s workforce 10% smaller, according to Bloomberg analysis. Another 108 companies made layoffs, without specifying how many employees were given pink slips.
The technology sector has seen some of the biggest losses, accounting for almost a third of the total cuts. Company leaders said they were hired after demand for their services increased during the pandemic. The mass layoffs surprised many Silicon Valley workers who had long enjoyed generous wages and cheap benefits. Management has promised investors a new era of austerity, with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling 2023 “the year of efficiency.”
760 companies shed 538,000 jobs
Total number of job cuts since October, by sector
Note: Data includes layoffs announced by the number of jobs or the share of the workforce cut from October 1, 2022 through April 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. Source: Data compiled by Bloomberg
The carnage extends far beyond technology. Of all cuts where the share of job cuts was reported or could be deduced, the average tech cut sent 10% of the company’s employees packing. In the communications, finance, health, real estate and energy sectors, average cuts were as large or larger, although total job losses were smaller. In health care, for example, the average reduction in workers was 21% for more than 130 layoffs, driven by massive layoffs at small startups like Rubius Therapeutics Inc., which let go of more than 80% of its staff. her in November.
The consumer discretionary sector has eliminated more than 110,000 roles as demand falls and sales at stores such as Amazon fall short of expectations. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other big banks cut thousands of jobs, despite threads of hope on Wall Street for a slight cut.
Work cuts beat sectors beyond technology
Companies with the most layoffs since October, by sector
Note: Data includes layoffs announced by the number of jobs or the share of the workforce cut from October 1, 2022 through April 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. * See methodology for details. Source: Data compiled by Bloomberg
Energy companies were among the least affected, with fewer than 4,000 jobs. Oil majors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron have racked up record profits and announced massive share buybacks after Russia’s war in Ukraine sent energy prices soaring.
Across all sectors, job security and stability have emerged as priorities for many workers. About 4 million US workers quit their jobs in February, off Covid-era highs, though still above pre-pandemic rates.
Overall, layoffs have been extremely concentrated. Almost half of the job cuts were made by just two dozen companies, including big names like FedEx, Ikea and Philips.
240,000 job cuts hit just 20 companies
Biggest Cumulative Vacations Since October 2022
*See methodology for details. Note: Data includes layoffs announced by the number of jobs or the share of the workforce cut from October 1, 2022 through April 3, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EDT. The percentage reduction is estimated as the total reduction in the workforce since the first layoff announcement. Source: Data compiled by Bloomberg
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