Google, Amazon among big names in tech axing jobs this week

Hiring boom followed by firing bust?

More tech jobs are on the chopping block this week, with Amazon, Google, Snap and Zillow all cutting staff.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the Chocolate Factory laid off some employees belonging to a team in charge of consumer complaints, though declined to give an exact number.

"The gUP (Google Users & Products) team announced a reorganization today that will impact a small number of roles on a team of hundreds," Google spokesperson Courtenay Mencini told The Register

"We're constantly evolving our teams to meet shifting business priorities and continuously improve the level of service we provide to our customers and users. The changes we rolled out will assure that we have the right people in place to do that." 

The Information first reported the gUP layoffs.

Google and parent company Alphabet have already had several rounds of job cuts since the start of the year, the first happening less than a month into 2023. In January, Alphabet announced 12,000 employees, or six percent of the workforce, would get the boot after it hired too many people during the pandemic and faced a "different economic reality" in 2023. 

In September, Google cut a few hundred staffers from its global recruitment team, and a month later trimmed at least 40 jobs from its news division. We've heard word of stealth layoffs at the Big G throughout the year.

It's also whispered that Google has paused filing PERM certificate applications to the US Dept of Labor until the first quarter of 2025.

Getting a PERM certificate for an employee is one step in sponsoring that worker's green card, which grants that person permanent residency in America. Stalling PERM applications for more than a year signals the web giant is unwilling or unable to convince US officials for a while that it needs to bring in foreign talent and can't hire US persons to fill open roles.

For one thing, if a business lays off, for instance, one or more software engineers in the US while applying for PERM certs for foreign developers doing the same or similar work, the Dept of Labor won't issue certificates, to ensure US persons aren't being screwed out of jobs.

So, good news for citizens and people already with green cards, who may find it easier to apply for Google jobs; bad news for Googlers who are waiting for a PERM certificate to advance their permanent residency process.

Meanwhile, Amazon on Wednesday laid off an undisclosed number of employees from its Music division.

"Like many businesses, we have been closely monitoring our organizational needs and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses," an Amazon spokesperson told The Register.

"As a result, some roles have been eliminated on the Amazon Music team. We will continue to invest in Amazon Music, and spend our resources on the products and services that matter most to customers, creators and artists."

These roles were located in Latin America, North America and Europe, according to Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter. The retail and cloud giant has axed more than 27,000 employees this year.

We note that Google and Amazon, like other tech companies in the pandemic era, each went on a massive hiring spree earlier, and are probably now wondering if they need that many full-timers.

Two other tech outfits, social media shifters Snap and real-estate biz Zillow, also reportedly chopped about two dozen workers each, according to Fox KTVU channel 2. Neither responded to The Register's request for comment. ®

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