Google layoffs: how will UK employees be affected by 2023 job cuts - and tech sector redundancies explained

Google parent compant Alphabet joins Microsoft, Meta and Amazon in announcing mass staff layoffs

<p>Google senior vice president of product Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address during the 2015 Google I/O conference (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)</p>

Google senior vice president of product Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address during the 2015 Google I/O conference (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google parent company Alphabet has said that it will cut around 12,000 jobs in an email to staff, as it became the latest tech titan to make such an announcement.

After recent disclosures from Microsoft and Amazon regarding massive layoffs, it is anticipated the cuts will be implemented widely throughout all of the group's international markets, affecting around 6% of its employees.

In the UK, Google has more than 5,000 employees. The exact impact of the cuts on the group's UK employees is currently unknown.

Why is Google making job cuts?

Chief executive Sundar Pichai claimed that despite the company's two years of extremely rapid growth, its employees had been “hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today”.

He told workers: “I have some difficult news to share – we’ve decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles.

“We’ve already sent a separate email to employees in the US who are affected. In other countries, this process will take longer due to local laws and practices.”

“This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. The roles we’re eliminating reflect the outcome of that review. They cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions.”

“We’ve undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company.”

Why are so many tech companies announcing job cuts?

The news comes as other international tech companies announced similar mass layoffs, including Microsoft, which said “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities” were to blame for 10,000 jobs - almost 5% of its workforce - being axed.

Microsoft joined a raft of rivals, such as Amazon and Facebook owner Meta, in trimming their workforces on fears of a slowdown in demand as the US and global economy slows.

Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, said in an online blog to employees that customers that were accelerating their spending on digital technology during the pandemic are now trying to “optimise their digital spend to do more with less”.

“We’re also seeing organisations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one,” he wrote.

Earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to shut three UK warehouses in a move that will impact 1,200 jobs, though a spokesperson for the online retail giant said all workers at the affected sites will be offered roles at other existing Amazon locations.

The closure plans came just over a week after Amazon said it is cutting more than 18,000 jobs worldwide in the largest layoffs programme in its history, citing an in-depth review of its business and the pressure of dampening demand and recession fears.