Widespread layoffs have plagued the tech industry since late 2022. But according to a new study, the worst may well be over.
Earlier this month, a survey found that 29% of business leaders were planning to or currently were conducting layoffs — which is down from 45% in Spring 2023. Granted, that's still a lot of layoffs on the horizon, but it's an indication that the rash of job cuts in the sector are slowing down significantly.
The same survey found that many businesses are anticipating a recession, which may have spurred the cost-cutting measures that led to so many job losses in the first place. Here's what to know about the future of tech industry jobs.
Business Leaders Who Anticipate Future Layoffs Have Fallen by 50% Since Spring 2023
The survey, out from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., polled 200 human resource and business leaders to determine their thoughts on topics including AI, remote work, and employee priorities as well as the present and future of layoff trends.
In addition to a big drop in the number of leaders who plan to issue job cuts currently, the number of respondents who say they “anticipate the need for future layoffs” has been cut in half since this past spring.
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Just 4% said they see layoffs in the future, compared to 8% in Spring 2023.
Andrew Challenger, workplace and labor expert and senior vice president at the firm, noted in a statement that the reduction in planned layoffs indicates companies have met their cost-cutting goals earlier in the year.
“We know that many companies have conducted layoffs during the first three quarters of the year, since announcements are up 198% over the same period last year. It seems a lot of the cost-cutting companies planned was carried out prior to the fourth quarter.” -Andrew Challenger
In other words, the onslaught of tech layoffs in Spring 2023 represented the worst of the trend.
76% of Companies Are Cutting Down on Business Travel
With the job cuts on the decline, companies are looking into other ways to reduce business expenses.
The biggest perk on the chopping block is business travel: Over three in four (76%) of the business leaders surveyed said they are cutting costs by reducing travel. That's up from 59% who said the same in the spring survey.
The rise of remote work might be behind the drop in travel plans, given that workers are much more used to the concept of picking up a video conferencing headset rather than a plane ticket.
Plus, 23.7% said that they were eliminating some other perks, such as free meals or gym memberships, an amount that remains fairly low, even while it has nearly doubled from the 11.8% who said this in Spring 2023.
Remote Work Holds Steady: 54% of Leaders Have No “Return to Office” Plans
Finally, there's a little good news for those who have been fearing a remote work backlash that could send them back to the physical office for a full five days a week: Over half (54%) of respondents to the recent survey say that they have no plans to drop their remote or hybrid workplace schedules.
This has risen slightly since the spring, when just 42% said they had no return-to-office plans.
The long battle for better workplace flexibility continues to rage, and despite some high-profile moves — like Amazon's recent decision to give managers the ability to lay off those who rejected a return to the physical office — this new survey is evidence that many workplaces are accepting a new, more much flexible normal.
And, fingers crossed, tech layoffs will continue to slow as businesses everywhere figure out how to do the best by their employees.