As tech layoffs mount, communities on LinkedIn are trying to find jobs for affected workers

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The tech layoffs that hit the sector in 2023 have continued into 2024, with a host of companies ranging from Big Tech to smaller firms making cuts. 

Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+2.71%
recently announced that it is cutting “several hundred” roles across its Prime Video and MGM Studios organization while Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform, said it is cutting over 500 jobs. Other companies making layoffs include Xerox Holdings Corp.
XRX,
,
Unity Software Inc.
U,
+1.23%,
DocuSign Inc.
DOCU,
+0.07%,
Okta Inc.
OKTA,
+3.74%,
and eBay Inc.
EBAY,
+0.98%,
while this week Snapchat parent Snap Inc.
SNAP,
+0.09%
said it intends to cut about 10% of its staff.

Set against this backdrop, a slew of support groups have formed on LinkedIn to help laid-off workers network and find new roles. The Tech League is one of these, describing itself as “for everyone, by everyone” who’s been affected by tech layoffs at Alphabet Inc.’s
GOOGL,
+2.12%

GOOG,
+2.04%
Google, Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp.
MSFT,
+1.56%,
Salesforce Inc.
CRM,
-0.22%
and others.

Related: Snap to slash 10% of staff as tech layoffs continue

The group has racked up over 1,200 members since it was created in January 2023. With the tech industry under fire, the Tech League gives people an opportunity to “cross network” amongst their competitors, according to a representative of the group. This lets people meet new peers and cross the boundaries that exist between competing companies, while also reminding them they have friends and allies who understand them, the representative added.

“People will cross-post opportunities within the group that they believe others could benefit from, people in the group are keen to share opportunities for others even after they have found new employment and that people are willing to continue to help others or be open to helping others who are still seeking employment,” the person told MarketWatch. “With respect to roles, HR and compliance and ethical roles, especially those surrounding Artificial Intelligence (AI) seem to be heavily impacted, as well as marketing, data center infrastructure, consulting and sales roles within the technology space.”

The West Coast of the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have seemed to be the most impacted by layoffs, according to the representative. “In terms of industries most impacted by layoffs, tech that is disability, ethics-focused, and defense firms are most impacted,” they added.

Related: Tech layoffs continue as Amazon cuts ‘several hundred’ at Prime Video and MGM Studios and Twitch makes ‘just over 500’ layoffs

So far this year, 135 tech companies have laid off 33,874 employees, according to the website Layoffs.fyi. The tech sector saw a slew of job cuts last year, with 1,186 companies around the world making 262,682 job cuts, the website says.

Also on LinkedIn, the Tech Layoff Resources, Job Opportunities and Candidates group was created in late 2022 around the time that Twitter was making cuts, and has since amassed more than 1,300 members. “It was set up to help folks who have been laid off (combining leads, positions, useful material in one place),” a representative of the group told MarketWatch. “Anytime I see something on my feed that might be interesting for someone who is looking for a job/candidate, I post it there.” As the group has grown, more people have started doing the same, the representative added.

Other groups aim to help workers in specific areas, such as the Indiana Tech Layoffs group, which is focused on the Hoosier state. The group was founded by Jennifer Merrell, chair of the digital fluency advisory council at Franklin College and former vice president of Indianapolis tech accelerator TechPoint, and Linda Calvin, chief impact officer at Reboot Representation, a Melinda Gates-funded venture that aims to close the gender gap in tech for Black, Latina and Native American women.

Related: Tech layoffs in the spotlight again as 2024 kicks off with Xerox job cuts

The group has racked up 160 members since it was set up last year.

“We were compelled that somebody needed to be doing something to accelerate the jobs to the people,” Merrell told MarketWatch. “We have some major tech companies [in Indiana], and all the SMBs that feed into that,” she said, highlighting the presence of companies such as Salesforce Inc., Infosys Ltd.
500209,
-1.39%
and software firm Genesys in the state.

Tech-sector layoffs have also disproportionately affected women and people of color, according to Calvin, pointing to cuts in HR and DEI (Diversity Equity and Inclusion) positions that were hired in recent years. “It’s last in, first out,” she said. “Somebody needs to react and respond to this and help people to connect — the fortunate thing for us is that we know lots of people.”

Related: Okta to cut 400 jobs as part of commitment to profitable growth, stock rallies

Calvin also said tech layoffs have “somewhat impacted” roles such as marketing, sales and customer service, but other jobs, like coding and cybersecurity, have been less affected. “You’re not hearing a lot of ‘code smashing,’ cybersecurity [cuts],” she told MarketWatch. “I have heard of a few people, but they have found roles pretty quickly.”

As laid-off workers attempt to find jobs, Calvin identified opportunities in industries that rely heavily on tech, pointing to Walmart Inc.’s
WMT,
-0.05%
presence in Indiana, as well as pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co.
LLY,
+0.61%,
which has its headquarters in Indianapolis. “There’s that opportunity where people need to look at every company as a tech-enabled company,” she said.

Other major companies in Indiana include defense giant Raytheon; Rolls-Royce
RR,
+0.13%,
which has a manufacturing, assembly, test, and engineering facility in Indianapolis; Roche Diagnostics , which has its North American headquarters in Indianapolis; and Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc.
ZBH,
-0.20%,
which is headquartered in Warsaw, Ind.

See Now: Alphabet’s X division shedding dozens of jobs: report

Last year, Heartland BioWorks in Bloomington, Ind., was designated as one of 31 inaugural regional tech hubs by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The hub will focus on biotech innovation.

Merrell is also seeing opportunities for laid-off tech workers to reskill in AI. “I think that 2024 is the year of the rise of the machine-learning engineer,” she told MarketWatch. “There are about only 150,000 machine-learning engineers in the world now.”

“I think that these are huge opportunities to change direction,” she added.

undefined both the good and the bad. If you’d like to get in touch with a story idea or a question, write to readerstories@marketwatch.com. Please include your name and the best way to reach you. A reporter may be in touch.  



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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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