Who’s Hiring? Who’s Firing? Checking in on Tech Jobs, Starting With Bad News From Volkswagen

The Volkswagen logo sits on the automaker's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany
Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Last month I reported on Trip Chowdry’s dire predictions for the tech workforce. Since then, I’ve seen a few announcements that confirmed his bleak view, but I’ve also seen bright spots in the engineering jobs landscape. Here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening on the tech jobs front over the past month or so. (I don’t have access to an extensive database tracking hiring and firing daily, so I don’t make any claims that this is exhaustive. Indeed, I’d appreciate addenda in the comments.)

First, the bad news:

  • Last week, Volkswagen announced that it would layoff 30,000 employees around the world, 23,000 of those in Germany.
  •  On 3 November, Sunnyvale-based data-storage company NetApp announced that it would cut 6 percent of its global workforce, or about 640 jobs. That’s on top of a 15 percent cut announced in February.
  •  On 2 November, Santa Clara-based semiconductor company Marvell announced that it would cut 900 jobs worldwide, about 16 percent of its workforce.
  •  Over at IBM, cuts that have been going on all year—that are never officially announced—continue. According to the website Watching IBM, layoffs in Canada are currently underway, with another round of U.S. layoffs expected just after the Thanksgiving holiday. An internal source told me that the rumors of November cuts are accurate, and that the names have already been submitted.
  • And, according to TechCrunch, Intel is about to slash jobs in its wearables group; no official word from the company yet.

And some good news on engineering jobs:

  • Tinder has opened up a Palo Alto, Calif., engineering office, hiring 20 people so far and aiming to hire 20 more soon. The 200-person company, based in California, plans to double its overall workforce over the next 12 to 18 months, according to ReCode.
  • LeEco, the Chinese consumer electronics and entertainment company, announced that it is quickly and steadily adding to its current U.S. workforce of 500, aiming to grow it to some 12,000. In June the company purchased 49 acres from Yahoo for its Silicon Valley campus.
  •  Mercedes Benz announced plans to add 1000 engineers to its R&D operation in India. (IBM also appears to be hiring in India, but, sensitive to reports of offshoring, it is making little information public.)
  •  Tesla announced big hiring plans—in Germany. Tesla this month agreed to acquire Grohmann Engineering and indicated that it will add 1000 engineers and technicians within the next two years.

Tesla will likely be getting a blizzard of resumes from Volkswagen.

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Tekla Perry
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