The U.S. economy is humming and there are hundreds of thousands of jobs being added every month. In a stunning burst of hiring to start the year, the nation added 353,000 jobs in January, shrugging off the highest interest rates in two decades that have been put in place by the U.S. Federal Reserve in part to cool off hiring and spending.
The unemployment rate is hovering at 3.7%, just above a half-century low.
At the same time, layoffs continue to arrive across almost every sector in 2024 as companies adjust to a shifting economy, including Monday.
Job cuts in tech and retail follow a massive ramp-up in hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic — when people spent more time and money online. Now, many companies are reducing headcounts to help lower costs and bolster their bottom lines. Many still have more workers than they did a few years ago.
Here’s where some of the job cuts have taken place in recent weeks.
Estee Lauder is cutting 3% to 5% of its global workforce. The downsizing, which will affect as many as 3,100 workers, will be made by July, Estee Lauder said. The company employed 62,000 workers worldwide, according to its latest regulatory filing.
REI is laying off 357 workers, mostly in the outdoor retailer’s headquarters and distribution centers. In a letter to employees, CEO Eric Artz noted that “outdoor specialty retail has experienced four quarters of decline — and that trend has been worsening.” While REI was able to outperform this for much of last year, he said, this trend caught up to the company in the fourth quarter, and difficult conditions are expected in 2024.
Levi Strauss & Co. is slashing its global corporate workforce by 10% to 15% in the first half of the year — as part of a two-year restructuring plan that seeks to cut costs and simplify its operations, the denim giant said. The layoffs on the same day Levi’s unveiled a proposed 10-year extension to the naming rights for Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, in a $170 million deal.
Microsoft is laying off some 1,900 employees in its gaming division, according to an internal company memo. The job cuts — which represent about an 8% reduction of Microsoft’s 22,000-person gaming workforce — arrive just over three months since the tech giant completed its $69 billion purchase of video game maker Activision Blizzard.
The owner of Snapchat is cutting approximately 10% of its worldwide workforce, or about 530 employees, the latest tech company to announce layoffs. Snap Inc. said in a regulatory filing that it currently estimates $55 million to $75 million in charges, mostly for severance and related costs. It expects the majority of the costs to be incurred in the first quarter.
TikTok said its shedding dozens of workers in its advertising and sales unit. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the social media platform is cutting 60 jobs. TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, did not provide a reason for the layoffs.
Video game developer Riot Games, which is behind the popular “League of Legends” multiplayer battle game, is trimming 11% of its staff. The company, which is owned by Chinese technology giant Tencent, said 530 jobs were being eliminated.
Online retailer eBay Inc. will cut about 1,000 jobs, or an estimated 9% of its full-time workforce, saying its number of employees and costs have exceeded how much the business is growing in a slowing economy.
Online furniture seller Wayfair is cutting about 1,650 jobs, or 13% of its global workforce. The restructuring is set to reduce team sizes across the company and reduce seniority in certain roles with the company planning to “rebuild with modified leveling” this year, CEO and co-founder Niraj Shah said.
Macy’s is laying off about 3.5% of its total headcount, which amounts to roughly 2,350 employees. The iconic department store is also closing five locations in Arlington, Virginia; San Leandro, California; Lihue, Hawaii; Simi Valley, California; and Tallahassee, Florida.
Google said it was laying off hundreds of employees working on its hardware, voice assistance and engineering teams. The cuts follow pledges by executives of Google and its parent company Alphabet to reduce costs. A year ago, Google said it would lay off 12,000 employees or around 6% of its workforce.
Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, is cutting more than 500 jobs in a bid to save on costs. The video streaming platform’s CEO Dan Clancy said in an email to employees that even with cost cuts and growing efficiency, the platform “is still meaningfully larger than it needs to be given the size of our business.”
Amazon-owned online audiobook and podcast service Audible is laying off about 5% of its workforce. In a memo sent to employees, Audible CEO Bob Carrigan said that the company is in good shape, but faces an “increasingly challenging landscape.” In addition, Amazon’s Prime Video and MGM Studios unit, is trimming hundreds of employees as it cuts back in areas that are not delivering.