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TL;DR: Fresh from announcing a new policy of giving its salaried employees in the US unlimited paid time off, Microsoft is reportedly about to reduce its global workforce by around 10,000 people. The Windows maker has been one of the few tech giants not to implement major job cuts recently, but it looks like that will soon change.
Sky News writes that Microsoft is set to announce the layoffs in a few days. It writes that the company's global workforce of more than 221,000 people—122,000 of whom are full-time employees based in the United States—will be reduced by around 5%, or about 10,000 jobs, though the final figure could be even higher. The cuts are reportedly set to take place across a number of engineering divisions.
Microsoft has made previous layoffs in the last 12 months, including cuts that impacted fewer than 1,000 employees in October, though they have been on a much smaller scale than those of fellow tech firms, affecting less than 1% of its total workforce.
Microsoft's share price over the last 12 months
Like other companies, Microsoft increased its hiring during the pandemic to deal with the sudden surge in people working/learning from home and requiring its products. Now that the economy has stalled and consumer demand is waning, these firms are scaling back their workforces.
Microsoft's US employees have had a week of ups and downs. The company's chief people officer, Kathleen Hogan, recently announced that all US salaried employees will receive unlimited paid time off, as well as ten corporate holidays, leaves of absence, sick/mental health time off, and time away for jury duty or bereavement.
Microsoft is expected to announce the job cuts before its quarterly earnings report on January 24, when the Redmond firm is expected to post its slowest revenue increase since fiscal 2017
Working in tech isn't a very secure profession right now. The first week of this month saw more layoffs across the industry than the whole of December, including confirmation from Amazon that it would be letting go of 18,000 staff. Last year was a difficult one for tech employees; Twitter, HP, Meta, Lyft, Snap, Robinhood, and many more announced they were reducing their workforces.