Will massive layoffs at Google and Microsoft affect Connecticut?

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With Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft announcing massive job cuts this month, will January’s swoon be a digital sector plunge or the beginning of a prolonged recession that will ripple across the U.S. economy, including Connecticut? is unknown.

Connecticut does not have the primary headquarters of the “Big Five” that dominate the tech sector: Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft. Amazon is one of Connecticut’s largest employers, but those jobs are limited to fulfillment centers and Whole Foods Market stores, and its success is tied to consumer spending.

Apple has only 10 retail stores in Connecticut, while Microsoft has less than 10,000 square feet of offices in downtown Hartford.

But many other major employers rely on a healthy digital economy and spending. Norwalk has important clusters of its own, including his ASML, just above the Wilton line, which employs more than 2,500 people to build machinery used to make semiconductors and flat-panel displays. To Datto, a data backup and digital security provider. Broadband major frontier. Headquartered in Norwalk, Xerox has a Connecticut Business Systems subsidiary in Wethersfield.

ASML’s CEO said in November that the company expected “short-term uncertainty” but was confident in its long-term outlook, partly as the US reinvested in domestic chip production. He said the company is undergoing massive global expansion. In ASML’s words, the goal of technological “sovereignty” is to cut the chip’s dependence on Taiwan. ASML had 160 job postings for Wilton as of Friday, many of which were posted within the past few days.

Connecticut is also home to a number of large and small consulting firms focused on information technology strategy, systems installation and outsourcing management, including Infosys in Hartford, with over 300,000 people worldwide. has employees.

Infosys has not reported any recent spate of mass layoffs, but TimesNow in India, where Infosys is headquartered, recently reported that hiring at the largest outsourcing firm has fallen to its lowest level in three years. In Connecticut, Infosys had fewer than 30 job openings listed statewide as of Friday, across offices or client sites in Hartford, East Hartford, Stamford and Groton.

The Connecticut Department of Labor expects the state to add nearly 8,800 jobs in the information technology sector by 2030, up 17% from 2020, to a total of 61,000 jobs among consultants and companies that employ IT staff in-house. I expect it to push further.

During the 2001 Internet bubble and the brief recession that followed, Connecticut’s unemployment rate hit 5.3%, well below the unemployment rate after the Great Recession when financial markets collapsed as a result of runaway mortgages.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2% as of November, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor, with an update due Monday. Until the first week of January, the DOL had not tracked a surge in initial claims for unemployment compensation in the broader industries it tracks, including elements of technology and information services.

Many of Connecticut’s commuters work at tech companies in New York, whether it’s in Manhattan offices or IBM in the Lower Hudson River. Big Blue has a large Southbury campus with more than 1,000 employees according to final reports, some of which are outsourced contractors. IBM did not immediately respond Friday to provide an update on its Southbury employees.

From travel giant Booking Holdings and its Norwalk-based subsidiary Priceline, to downtown MetaRetail, which operates its own online sales fulfillment center in Stratford, hundreds of other Connecticut businesses are generating significant revenue through e-commerce. producing the part.

After February 2021, when IT support systems company Pomeroy Technologies reported that it had cut more than 20 jobs in Connecticut after it lost a contract, Connecticut employers in the digital economy were forced to adjust their workforce and I have never filed a mass layoff notice under the guidelines of the Retraining Act.

A clearer picture will emerge in the coming weeks in the wheelhouse of corporate earnings, including Stanford-based Charter Communications, Intel and Apple, the only Big Five not to report mass layoffs in recent weeks. may become apparent.

Includes preliminary reports by Dan Haar, Luther Turmelle, and Paul Schott.; 203-842-2545; @casoulman


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