by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:
There have been a gazillion layoff announcements by companies headquartered in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley, and there are websites that track those announcements as they’re published in the media, and folks throw around big numbers, such as 200,000 tech layoffs, etc.
In reality, most of these companies are global companies with facilities around the US and around the globe, and the layoffs are global, and many people who got laid off in the US are working from home, and even if their office was theoretically in San Francisco, they might have been living in another state for all we know, and economically, that layoff impacts the local economy in that state.
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So how many people actually got laid off between July 1 and now, in San Francisco and in Silicon Valley? We can get the numbers by looking at the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) reports. The California WARN Act requires employers with 75 employees or more to give advance notice to employees affected by plant closings and mass layoffs. With enough severance pay, employers can lay off employees with immediate effect, but they still have to report those layoffs to WARN.
What’s astonishing, after six months of layoff hoopla in the media, is how relatively few people actually got laid off from July 1, 2022, through January 18, 2023 (the most recent available), in the three counties that cover San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
There are currently 2.4 million employed workers in the three counties combined, according to the California Employment Development Department; and the total layoffs since July 1 amount to 15,362 people, or 0.6% of all remaining employed workers. Actual layoffs by county, based on WARN filings:
- San Francisco County: 6,248
- San Mateo County: 4,052
- Santa Clara Country: 5,062.
“Tech,” social media, and biotech companies feature prominently on the lists, including Twitter, Salesforce, Meta, Invitae (biotech), Cisco, and Jabil. But other companies made it to the top of the lists too, such as American Airlines which is closing its flight-attendant base at the San Francisco Airport, electronic cigarette maker Juul, contractors that service Meta buildings, and Tesla which closed its office in San Meteo.
Here are the layoffs in the three counties over the past six-months, based on WARN reports. A reminder: just because a laid-off worker was listed as being laid off from the Twitter or Meta office in San Francisco doesn’t mean that the worker actually lived in San Francisco.
|San Francisco County||Notice Date||# of people|
|San Francisco Housing Authority||07/29/2022||146|
|Bayview Hunters Point||08/01/2022||82|
|Chinese Community Health Care Association||10/31/2022||68|
|PSA Risk Management Services||08/31/2022||40|
|Heritage on the Marina||01/04/2023||17|
|San Mateo County||Notice Date||# of people|
|ABM Industry Groups dba Meta||07/01/2022||368|
|Flagship Facility Services at Meta||01/03/2023||126|
|Verily Life Sciences||01/11/2023||119|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||11/15/2022||49|
|Santa Clara County||Notice Date||# of people|
|Kitty Hawk Corporation||09/21/2022||100|
|Specialized Bicycle Components||01/11/2023||80|
|Aerotek at Flex LTD||11/11/2022||48|
|PSA Risk Management Services||08/31/2022||44|
|USRA at ARC||09/09/2022||41|
|Bed Bath & Beyond||12/01/2022||36|
|Silicon Valley TMS||11/15/2022||30|
|Sierra Monitor Corporation||09/07/2022||26|