Take a midyear look at tech hiring and firing news and you’ll spot a few trends. New tech jobs in e-commerce are blooming all over the world, with Amazon, Walmart, and PayPal all making big plans to expand their engineering workforces. In e-commerce, AI researchers are in huge demand—and e-commerce isn’t alone there, there’s love for AI engineers in many fields. You’ll also notice that Canada seems to be getting more of these new engineering jobs than Silicon Valley, at least according to recent announcements.
A midyear snapshot of hiring:
- Amazon in late April announced that it would expand its tech hub in Vancouver, planning to hire 3,000 engineers with experience in cloud computing and machine learning. The company also announced plans to add 2,000 tech jobs in the Boston area, focused on improving the company’s Alexa and Audible technologies.
- Amazon Web Services in June announced it would be adding 1,000 engineers to its Dublin, Ireland, offices over the next two years, including software development engineers, network development engineers, security and big-data specialists, and development operations engineers.
- Walmart in June told VentureBeat that it would be adding 2,000 tech workers to its Walmart Labs operations in Silicon Valley; Bentonville, Arkansas; Reston, Virginia; and Bangalore, India, with many focused on using machine learning to improve its online shopping tools.
- PayPal India announced in July that it would be hiring 600 additional engineers this year, including application developers, back-end developers, data engineers, and product managers.
- Space X reported in June that it was looking to hire more than 500—mostly engineers and technicians, but the number included security guards, writers, and baristas.
- Accruent, a company that develops cloud-based tools for asset management, announced in June that it would be opening a new office in New Orleans and hiring 65 tech workers this year, expanding to 350 by 2020.
- Nvidia announced in June that it would open a new research lab in Toronto, adding dozens of AI and deep-learning researchers by the end of the year.
- Apple has reportedly opened a secret hardware engineering lab in the Portland, Ore., area, hiring two dozen since late last year and still recruiting, according to The Oregonian.
- HP Inc., the personal computer and printer side of the former Hewlett-Packard Co., in June indicated that it would be cutting 5,000 jobs in 2018 and 2019; about 1,000 to 2,000 more than previously discussed. The company didn’t indicate what functions or regions would be affected.
- Tesla in June announced plans to cut 3,000 employees from the company’s salaried workforce, with only manufacturing jobs unaffected.
- Broadcom, based in San Jose, Calif., in June indicated that it has cut 1,100 employees, and more cuts may be coming as a result of its acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems.
- IBM in May slashed workers across its Watson Health division; the layoffs mostly targeted those who came into IBM through acquisitions. The company doesn’t report numbers, but the layoffs were reported to be significant, as much as 50 to 70 percent in some groups.
- Qualcomm in June gave notice that it would be laying off 241 people at the company’s Raleigh, North Carolina, design center, most involved in chip design for servers.
- eBay in July cut 274 Bay Area jobs, most at the company’s San Jose headquarters. No word on how many of those were involved in technology development for the company.
- Uber in July laid off about 100 of its self-driving car operators, mostly in Pittsburgh and San Francisco; it had suspended testing after the fatal crash in Arizona.
- Western Digital in July announced plans to cut 79 workers from San Jose operations involved in hard disk drives. According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the cuts are going high up the ranks, and will include the director of R&D engineering and the vice president of manufacturing.
- Intel in June filed plans to lay off 65 workers in Silicon Valley.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.