First the Great Resignation, now tech workers are worrying about losing their jobs

As the economic outlook changes, many tech sector workers are worried about job security.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

With tech companies pulling back on new hires and some making job cuts, the mood of some tech sector workers has swung from confident to anxious.

A June survey of 6,911 professionals at tech firms conducted by professional social network Blind found that basically everyone is fretting about job security. Only 9% said they felt more confident about job security than they did a year ago while 66% said they're not actively looking for another job, Blind's Rick Chen notes in a blogpost

As fears about the economic outlook have increased, and companies have become more cautious in their spending, this may be a signal of the beginning of the end for the Great Resignation, which started in early 2021, when employees could leave a job confident they'd land a higher paying job in a tight labor market. 

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Ninety percent of professionals who feared a recession was imminent said they also felt less confident about their job security. However, the 60% who were unconcerned about an upcoming recession said their confidence in their job security has not changed in the last year, according to Blind.

For the tech sector, Facebook's and Google's respective hiring freezes say a lot about confidence. Spotify in June also announced it will cut back hiring by 25% this year. Bloomberg reported Oracle this week began laying off US workers from its customer experience division. 

Blind's layoffs tracker estimates 500 startups and tech companies have laid off more than 80,000 people in 2022, with the number of firms increasing over the first two quarters. Falling valuations of privately held firms have come as venture capitalists dial back investments, perhaps in response to public markets like the US S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes getting caught in bear markets in June.    

UK recruiter CW Jobs recently reported that 85% of IT decision makers expect to adjust to changing costs – including hiring freezes (21%) and pay freezes (20%). 

Despite rising lay offs and cost cutting, a June survey by CNBC found that 64% of tech leaders reckon it's getting harder to place roles that require skilled workers. 

July survey by Interviewing.io looked at how Facebook and Google are approaching their freezes. Facebook from May stopped hiring engineers below a certain level but was still hiring machine-learning engineers and enterprise engineers. Google's freeze was for two weeks from July 20. While it's carrying out interviews, candidates likely won't get an official offer until the freeze lifts.    

And these recent concerns have to be set against the broader trends in the tech industry in particular. 

Analysis of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics by CompTIA found that job postings for tech positions stood at more than 600,000 in May and nearly 2.2 million during 2022 so far. Combined with the ongoing tech skills shortage and ongoing high demand for developers and other tech workers, while there may be some difficult times ahead, the longer term outlook for tech remains strong. 

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