Ask HN: Do you think tech layoffs are happening to reduce wage growth?

Does anyone else have a feeling that the current tech layoffs are, on purpose, a way to reduce power of people employed in the tech sector?

When I talk with friends from other industry sectors, they find it unfathomable that in the tech sector wage growth is so easily given.

If you are an average software engineer, you will at minimum gain a 10% raise annually. Of course, people are paid each year more because software is always evolving and with each passing day the way you code evolves.

Let's say if you are an employer, one of the big tech companies with over 10 thousand software engineers, a 10% annual raise is no small amount, and when you factor in compounding, in a couple of years your overhead costs rise really fast.

However, if you lay off 10% of your whole workforce, you don't just save the salary cuts, but you also save an even way bigger amount which is in bonuses and salary growth expectations for the remainder of the company.

During a downturn, when people are losing jobs, others are happy to just have a job, even if they don't get a raise.

In the company I work for, people already started fearfully asking if they will get a full bonus for the last year. Even though the company achieved record profits, they cite market conditions, and employees got scared.

Pavlov conditioning at its finest.

Is there even something we can do, except try to weather the storm?

1 points | by newbie578 463 days ago

2 comments

  • pg_1234 463 days ago
    Employ the same strategy that has always been optimal for employees.

    Track the market, and, in the lead up to pay discussions (at a minimum), line up alternative jobs.

    Then pay negotiation is not you begging for more, but rather your current employer being one of multiple candidates competing for the next year of your output.

  • jleyank 463 days ago
    This, or maybe to break the back of the wfh movement? Get those workers back where the bosses can see/drive them.