Layoff Roundup January 2024: Global Perspective

Layoff Roundup January 2024: Global Perspective


As we enter the new year, the corporate world continues to navigate through a labyrinth of economic challenges and strategic realignments, leading to significant workforce reshaping globally. The Layoff Roundup of January 2024 paints a picture of an international business community still coming to terms with the ripple effects of the preceding years' economic events. Businesses are compelled to make tough decisions, often resulting in layoffs, as they strive to remain viable in a competitive and unpredictable market.


This global perspective on layoffs reflects not only the economic uncertainty that lingers but also the adaptive measures companies are taking in response to technological advancements, shifts in consumer behavior, and the ever-evolving geopolitical landscape. In January 2024, from tech behemoths to manufacturing mainstays, from the bustling cities of North America to the developing markets of Africa, firms of all sizes and sectors have found themselves at a crossroads, assessing their most valuable asset—their employees.


As we delve deeper into the layoff events of January 2024, we will explore the emerging trends, the sectors that have been most affected, and the implications these workforce reductions have on the global economy. This roundup aims to provide insights into the strategic considerations driving layoffs and how businesses are balancing cost-efficiency with the need to retain talent and maintain innovation in the face of ongoing financial pressures.


United States 

Salesforce 

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Salesforce announced the layoff of 700 workers, approximately 1% of their 70,000 global workforce. These layoffs come amid a series of reductions in the tech industry. They indicate that Salesforce's efforts to adjust its workforce are in response to a slowdown in sales and a need to redirect its spending toward more profitable endeavors. 


IBM

IBM's layoffs in 2024 were part of a larger restructuring plan focused on AI-centered roles. The company planned to spend the same amount on restructuring as it did the previous year — $400 million — when it made significant cuts. Although specific numbers for January 2024 are not provided, IBM has clarified that it aims to end the year with roughly the same employment level as it started, suggesting that layoffs would be balanced with new hires in strategic areas.


Goldman Sachs

While the exact figures for January 2024 are not specified, Goldman Sachs has been on a trend of reducing headcount, with about 3,200 jobs cut in the first quarter of the previous year. These layoffs are part of Goldman Sachs' strategy to streamline its workforce and focus on performance and strategic business needs amidst a challenging environment for the financial industry.


Boeing

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Boeing announced layoffs with WARN notices indicating 507 employees being laid off commencing on January 19, 2024. The layoffs are part of the company's adjustments in production lines and efforts to align its workforce with the demand for its products and services. Boeing faces several challenges in the aerospace sector, including the ongoing issues with its 737 MAX jets.


Spotify

In a significant reduction of its workforce, Spotify laid off 600 employees in January, adding to the 200 staff cuts previously made in June. These layoffs were part of Spotify's ongoing attempts to cut costs and streamline its operations in the competitive music streaming industry.



Meta

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has been undergoing a series of layoffs. While specific figures for January 2024 are not provided, it's part of a broader trend that saw about 21,000 people lose their jobs at Meta in late 2023. These layoffs result from larger restructuring efforts within the tech industry, Meta's strategic focus on efficiency, and new areas like virtual reality.


Verizon

While specific numbers for January 2024 are not mentioned, Verizon Communications has been involved in a global hiring freeze and has filed several WARN layoff notices in various states. These actions are part of the company's restructuring and "streamlining" measures, indicating that Verizon is making workforce adjustments in response to the changing telecommunications landscape.


Lloyds

Lloyds Banking Group announced plans to cut 1,600 jobs across its branch network as it steers towards digital services. This move is part of an ongoing shift towards online banking, reflecting changes in customer behavior and the bank's cost reduction strategy. 


Corning Inc

Corning Inc. confirmed job cuts of at least 1,000 people in its 50,000 worldwide workforce. These layoffs are part of the company's global workforce reduction in response to economic conditions and strategic business adjustments.


Macy's

Macy's announced layoffs affecting more than 2,000 employees, about 3.5% of the company's workforce, and the closure of five stores. These measures are part of the company's strategy to slash costs amid ongoing retail industry challenges.


Wayfair

Online home goods retailer Wayfair laid off approximately 1,650 employees, representing about 13% of its workforce. The decision comes as the company struggles to rebound from a sales slowdown and aims to reduce costs.


Mastermind

Mastermind, a consumer products company, terminated about 272 employees as it changed ownership, with Unity Acquisitions Inc. taking over. This is part of the broader trend of layoffs across various industries. 


Citigroup

Citigroup plans to lay off 20,000 employees over the next two years as it comes off a challenging quarter. The layoffs are part of the bank's broader efforts to streamline operations and improve its financial position.


Johnsonville

Johnsonville, a sausage manufacturer, announced the closure of its Meadowside plant in Sheboygan County, which will impact nearly 400 workers. The company is consolidating its operations after acquiring its co-packer, Salm Partners.


Xerox

Xerox revealed its intention to reduce its workforce by 15% as part of a strategic initiative to introduce a new organizational structure. With the workforce cut, more than 3,000 jobs are expected to be affected. 


Enphase Energy

Enphase Energy plans to reduce its global workforce by about 10%, impacting approximately 350 employees and contractors. The layoffs are part of the company's restructuring efforts to streamline business operations.


Canada 


BenchSci

BenchSci, a Toronto-based AI startup, trimmed its headcount by 70 team members, marking a 17 percent reduction in its workforce. The company cited economic conditions and the pursuit of operational efficiency as reasons for the layoffs. These cuts reflect the broader trend of job reductions in the tech sector as companies adjust to the changing economic landscape.


Google Canada

Google Canada experienced layoffs as part of a global reduction in workforce by Google and its parent company, Alphabet, which pledged to reduce costs. The layoffs affected hundreds of employees, focusing on staff working in various divisions such as Google Assistant, Pixel, Fitbit, and Nest.


Indigo Books & Music

Indigo Books & Music Inc. laid off an unspecified number of staff as part of the retailer's ongoing efforts to streamline its operations. The layoffs were part of Indigo's strategic plan to optimize business processes and adapt to retail market changes.


Mastermind Toys

Mastermind Toys terminated about 272 employees as the retailer changed ownership to Unity Acquisitions Inc. This layoff represented roughly one-third of its workforce as the company sought to restructure its operations post-acquisition.


Wayfair Canada

Wayfair Canada was part of a layoff impacting 1,650 home goods company employees, including about 50 Canadian workers. The company faced challenges with sales and aimed to reduce costs by trimming its global workforce by 13 percent. 


7shifts

7shifts, a company providing employee scheduling software for restaurants, cut 19 percent of its staff, impacting 68 employees. The layoffs came as the Saskatoon-based startup adjusted to market conditions and aimed to optimize its workforce for future growth.


Australia 


Alcoa

Alcoa, an aluminum manufacturing giant, announced the closure of its West Australian alumina refinery, leading to the loss of more than 1,000 jobs. The closure is part of the company's response to market conditions and strategic global operations.

Europe 

SAP SE

Germany-based enterprise software giant SAP SE began the year with a major restructuring plan, which impacts up to 8,000 jobs. This move is part of the company's strategy to streamline operations and refocus on growth areas.


John Lewis

UK department store John Lewis announced plans to lay off 11,000 employees in January 2024, representing approximately 14 percent of its 76,000-strong workforce. The decision to reduce the number of staff is in response to the evolving retail landscape.


Telefónica

In January 2024, Telefónica, the Spanish telecommunications group, announced a significant layoff plan affecting its operations in Spain. The company agreed with unions to lay off up to 3,421 employees. This plan is part of Telefónica's effort to streamline its workforce and achieve cost savings. The layoffs are expected to enable the company to reach average annual savings of approximately EUR 285 million from direct expenses by 2025. 


Asia

Bank of America: Laid off 20 investment bankers in Asia as part of a downsizing initiative for its regional investment banking operations in January 2024. 


Over 30,000 employees were laid off by tech companies and startups in India in January 2024. This includes companies like Paytm and Flipkart, with the layoffs attributed to various economic pressures and a focus on efficiency. 


Conclusion 

In January 2024, layoffs swept across the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia, driven by economic challenges and strategic shifts. Key drivers included the pressures of an evolving retail landscape, the need for financial institutions and tech companies to streamline operations in response to market conditions, and corporate efforts to achieve cost savings and efficiency. The impact was felt across various sectors as companies adjusted to technological advancements, investor expectations, and a competitive global environment necessitating difficult workforce reductions.


Memory Nguwi
Super User
This article was written by Memory a Super User at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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