As of 2022, over 800 tech companies worldwide have announced layoffs affecting more than 100,000 employees, according to Layoffs.com, a website that tracks job cuts. The majority of these cuts have occurred within the tech industry. Companies such as Meta, Amazon, Twitter, GoTo, Grab, Netflix, and Sea are among those that have announced layoffs. These cuts are likely to continue, with many companies still facing financial challenges due to the ongoing economic fallout from the pandemic.
The impact of these layoffs is not limited to the tech sector alone. The broader job market is also feeling the effects of the economic downturn, with many employees facing uncertainty about their future employment prospects. The collapse of crypto currencies, the Russia-Ukraine war, global energy and inflation crisis are just a few of the variables that are contributing to the ongoing economic challenges. Additionally, new privacy regulations are making it more difficult for some companies to collect and use personal data for targeted advertising.
The pandemic has also led to a decline in spending on certain goods and services, such as cloud computing, computers, video games, and online retail. Many companies that saw a boost in sales during the pandemic are now struggling to adjust to the new normal. Some have made significant cuts to their workforce, with some laying off as much as 50% or more of their employees. This has left many employees feeling uncertain about their future, especially those who have become accustomed to working from home during the pandemic.
As the technology sector continues to advance with the integration of AI, robotics and other automation technologies, the need for excessive human resources becomes increasingly unnecessary, particularly in terms of profitability. Self-service kiosks, from simple vending machines to restaurant order-to-pay systems, and more complex backend process automation, make it less likely for businesses to maintain a large workforce.
It may come as a surprise that many of the affected workers will need to be reskilled and upskilled in order to find re-employment in the new world. The new economy requires a new set of skills, such as global virtual project team skills, and mere knowledge of office software like Microsoft Office is not enough to compete. In addition, many older workers may find it difficult to adapt and learn the new skills required in the new world.
We have seen similar concerns in the creative industry, such as cartoonists and illustrators attempting to ban AI artists. However, when it comes to entertainment, the audience primarily looks for a good story and to be entertained, is it necessary to ban AI? Instead, it would be more beneficial to learn how to use it properly. Similar concerns are present in other sectors and industries, such as the pressure on the oil and gas sector from electric vehicles (EVs). However, new and better technology will eventually transform the world, and it will happen more quickly than expected, driving massive market adoption and becoming a new industry or global standard.
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