December 1, 2023

Microsoft is planning to cut thousands of jobs in the latest workforce cull by a major technology company as the economy slows, according to a report.

The software company is expected to announce the widespread layoffs in the coming days, Sky News reported on Tuesday. The U.K. media outlet said Microsoft is targeting a 5% reduction in its workforce, or about 11,000 workers across offices worldwide. The company is targeting cuts in its engineering divisions, according to Bloomberg, which cited a person familiar with the matter. 

Microsoft employs more than 220,000 people globally, including roughly 122,000 people in the U.S., according to its corporate website.

Microsoft declined to confirm Sky’s report, telling CBS News it doesn’t comment “on rumor.”

Major technology players including Amazon, Meta and Twitter have also shed thousands of jobs in recent months. In December alone, tech sector companies cut more than 16,100 jobs, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. The industry shed the most jobs of any sector last year, eliminating 100,000 positions in 2022.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced it would give all of its U.S.-based employees unlimited time off under a new “Discretionary Time off” policy. 

Many economists expect the U.S. to face a recession this year, although some analysts predict it is likely to be mild. 

“Our outlook for the U.S. economy in 2023-24 continues to include a mild recession, but we have pushed back the timing of the downturn,” BofA Global Research analysts said Tuesday in a report. “We still see the downturn as driven mainly by tighter monetary policy, causing the current investment-led slowdown to broaden into a consumer spending slowdown.”

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