Over 30,000 People Fired in Jan 2024; These Firms Conducted Mass Layoffs

Layoffs plagued the global tech industry last year, and 2024 has not seen an improvement so far. As per reports, more than 2,40,000 jobs were lost in tech firms in 2023. The total count included mass layoffs by Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, Nokia, Accenture, and others. India has also suffered its brunt with tech firms such as Paytm, Sharechat, Dunzo, and Byju conducting large-scale job cuts. Several experts highlighted surplus hiring during the pandemic, high inflation, and poor consumer demand as the reason for these firings. But one month into 2024, layoffs are continuing with the same unbridled fervour.

According to data compiled by tech layoff tracker Layoffs.fyi, a total of 2,62,595 employees were sacked in 2023 by 1189 companies. This was the worst year in terms of job cuts in recent history and witnessed an increase of more than 50 percent compared to 2022 (1,64,969 layoffs by 1064 tech companies) when the global layoff spree first started. 2024 has also started in a similar fashion, with 30,375 employees being handed the pink slip by 115 tech firms.

Name Total employees fired Timeline
UPS 12,000 January 2024
SAP 8,000 January 2024
PayPal 2,500 January 2024
Google 1,000 (second layoff undisclosed) December 2023 – January 2024
YouTube 100 January 2024
Microsoft 1,900 January 2024
Amazon (undisclosed) January 2024
Twitch 500 January 2024
Discord 170 January 2024
TikTok 60 January 2024
Unity 1,800 January 2024
Wayfair 1,650 January 2024
Pixar (undisclosed) January 2024
Salesforce 7,000 January 2024
eBay 1,000 January 2024
Vroom 800 January 2024
Riot Games 530 January 2024
Audible (undisclosed) January 2024
Block 1,000 January 2024
Okta 400 January 2024
Swiggy 400 January 2024
Flipkart 1,000 2024
Wipro (undisclosed) 2024

Notably, the biggest announcement came from logistics giant United Parcel Service (UPS), which revealed in its fourth-quarter earnings report that it was letting go of 12,000 staffers to align resources in 2024. CEO Carol Tomé said the move will save the company $1 billion in costs. The German software giant SAP also announced a massive restructuring exercise affecting a total of 8,000 employees, as per a Reuters report. The firm has said that it will push towards gen AI capabilities and automation, and the employees will either be trained with AI skills or let go through voluntary redundancy programs. Alongside, PayPal, the online payments company, is reported to hand the pink slip to 9 percent of its workforce, or 2,500 employees, to reduce headcount.

After conducting various smaller job cuts, Google has already announced two separate layoffs in January 2024. The first affected more than 1,000 employees across its Pixel, Fitbit, Nest, and Google Assistant teams, as per the company’s statement, and the latter is said to affect a few hundred people in its sales and advertising unit, Business Insider reported. Separately, YouTube also announced laying off 100 employees in a restructuring exercise, initially reported by Tubefilter.

After multiple job cuts in 2023, Microsoft has continued the trend and handed the pink slip to 1,900 employees at Activision Blizzard and Xbox in January, which is roughly 8 percent workforce of the Microsoft Gaming division, as per a report by The Verge. Another tech conglomerate to join the tech giants is Amazon, which has laid off “several hundred” employees in its Prime Video and MGM Studios division, citing shifting of focus as the reason, reported The Information.

Social media platforms were also not untouched by the trend. In 2024, Twitch revealed in a post that it had let go of 500 employees in the company due to the size of the organisation being unsustainable. Discord joined the race by sacking 170 people across various departments, a massive 17 percent of its workforce. CEO Jason Citron cited the reason as overexpanding the workforce in an internal memo obtained by The Verge. Finally, NPR reported that TikTok had also fired 60 employees, mostly from sales and marketing, in January 2024.

Apart from these, several other tech firms also made the headlines for trimming their workforce. Unity, the video game engine developer, revealed in an SEC filing that it was laying off around 1,800 roles to improve its financial performance. Wayfair, the online furniture retailer, was reported to fire 16 percent of its workforce, 1,650 employees, due to going “overboard” with corporate hiring during the pandemic. TechCrunch reported that Disney-owned Pixar is preparing for a round of layoffs that could impact as much as 20 percent of its 1,300 large workforce. Another shocking report came from software giant Salesforce, which is laying off 7,00 employees, as per the Wall Street Journal.

Further, E-commerce platform eBay revealed its plans to sack 1,000 employees, citing the ongoing economic condition. Shutting down its e-commerce used car marketplace on January 22, Vroom laid off 800 people, a whopping 90 percent of its workforce, as per a regulatory filing. Publisher of popular game titles such as League of Legends and Valorant, Riot Games, in a post, revealed that it had handed the pink slip to 530 employees, 11 percent of its workforce, to sharpen its focus on high-impact projects. Amazon-owned audiobook firm Audible also laid off 5 percent of its staff, as per a leaked email obtained by Business Insider.

Block, the Jack Dorsey co-founded fintech firm that owns platforms like Square and Cash App, revealed in a memo obtained by Business Insider that it would be laying off 1,000 employees or 10 percent of its workforce due to growth of the organisation outpacing that of its revenue. Okta, a San Francisco-based identity and access management firm, is reported to fire 400 employees due to high costs.

While the global tech companies were dealing with this crisis, the situation closer to home was not ideal either. Various Indian tech companies also conducted layoffs. Ahead of its planned IPO move, food delivery giant Swiggy was reported to fire 400 employees or around 6 percent of its total workforce, calling it a corporate alignment process. Walmart-owned Flipkart can let go of as many as 1,000 employees in an annual restructuring exercise, as per a report.

And on January 31, just two days ago, Wipro joined the list as it is in the process of sacking “hundreds of mid-level roles onsite” to improve its margins, a report by the Economic Times stated. It is not expected to be the last tech firm this year to lay off employees, and with 11 more months to go, the people impacted by the relentless workforce resizing can reach a scary number.

The common thread in all these layoffs are corporate buzzwords such as “restructuring”, “improving efficiency”, “focus on sustainability”, and “surplus hiring.” But the real picture is clear to see. Most tech firms operate online and immensely benefitted during the lockdowns that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the revenue skyrocketed, so did the expansion plans and a high number of people were hired. However, now that the pandemic is gone, life is returning to normal, and people are spending time outdoors and in offline institutions. This is not good news for the online-first companies who are losing their business and user ‘time spent’ on platforms to retailers and the real world.

Another big factor that played a role in this was the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). With numerous AI products and tools to automate tasks within organisations popping up, companies now have another way to reduce expenditure and become more efficient. Notably, Paytm CEO said while announcing a job cut that affected 1,000 employees, “We will be able to save 10-15% in employee costs as Artificial Intelligence (AI) has delivered more than we expected it to.”

The impact of “pandemic hiring” is bound to stop at some point, as the majority of the large tech firms have conducted large-scale layoffs since 2022 and are likely to have brought the workforce under control by now. Startups and MNCs also joined the race in 2023, but it can go on for some more time. The one thing which is not going anywhere is the emergence of AI. The launches in 2023 were mostly new products based on a technology that was not fully explored. AI tools are expected to become more polished and enterprise-ready in the next few years and enter a wider range of industries. Google, for example, is already testing AI models for music generation (MusicLM), image generation (Vertex AI), and text-to-video generation with realistic motion (Lumiere).

According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, workforce automation by technology can display as many as 85 million (8.5 crores) job roles by 2025. While the number seems quite unrealistic in 2024, even if just one percent of this comes true in the next five years, 8.5 million (85 lakhs) people will lose employment. To highlight how massive this will be, the entire layoff spree between 2022 and now only amounts to a little less than half a million (4,57,939).

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These high school sweethearts have visited 112 countries. Here’s how they pay for it on a budget

Most people have a travel bucket list, perhaps with 10 to 15 countries.

For this couple, it’s all 195 — and they’re more than halfway there.

Hudson and Emily Crider have visited 112 countries, but their journey together began long before that. Both are from the “same small town” of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They met in fifth grade and started dating in high school, the couple said.

Speaking to CNBC via video from Chiang Mai, Thailand, the couple explained that their goal in college was to buy an RV and travel to all 50 states in the United States.

Hudson and Emily Crider in high school.

Hudson and Emily Crider

They began to save for that goal after getting married in 2012, but just a few years later, Hudson’s father died of a heart attack. “It was a reminder to us that we’re not guaranteed another day,” said Hudson, 32.

That motivated them to “sell everything and buy this old RV,” said Hudson. The couple left their jobs — Emily as a marketing manager in an agency, Hudson as a financial planner — in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area, said Emily, 31. Just two years later, they accomplished their goal of traveling to all 50 states.

So they set their sights higher.

Now, as the couple pursue their goal of traveling to every country in the world, they spend less than when they lived in D.C., said Emily. “The thing we found most helpful is eliminating expenses,” said Hudson. “We don’t have a house, car, kids and also make sure to budget.”

The couple have met people on the road who have children, or a home that they’re renting out to travel long term, said Emily. “We really believe there’s not a right or wrong way to travel,” she said.

Hudson and Emily Crider on a safari in Kenya, Africa.

Hudson and Emily Crider

The couple work remotely while on the road to support their travels, said Hudson. They teach English online, create content on YouTube and Instagram, and sell products like clip-on hand sanitizer holders on Amazon.

Although every traveler has different circumstances, being able to research and read reviews on the internet makes travel “the most open that it’s ever been,” said Hudson.

The couple’s own style of traveling helps them save on food, attractions and local culture in countries they visit, no matter how expensive.

Least to most expensive regions

The Criders have traveled to every continent except Antarctica, they said. The following is their ranking of the world’s major regions based on the cost of travel — from the least to most expensive:

  1. Asia
  2. South America
  3. Africa
  4. Middle East
  5. Australia
  6. Europe
  7. North America


Food is one of the categories of travel that “people plan the least for,” yet it’s the cost that is “easiest to add up,” the couple told CNBC. In Bali, Indonesia, they kept those costs low by eating street food like nasi goreng, spending as little as $1 per meal.

Trying street food is a “great way to taste local food and culture,” said Emily. Their favorite Asian cuisines include pad Thai and khao soi from Thailand and Vietnamese banh mi, she said.

The couple save on housing, their second biggest expense, by doing homestays with locals. In Bali, they stayed with the “sweetest family” for just $4 per night, said Emily.

Hudson trying an organ sandwich in Marrakech, Morocco.

Hudson and Emily Crider

The couple also use Couchsurfing.com, a site where travelers can find locals offering free housing. In Switzerland, they stayed with another couple who made them raclette, a traditional Swiss dish, and took them paragliding, said Emily.

Homestays are a great way to connect with local people, said Emily. “When you’re quickly going to a place and taking pictures of tourist sites, you don’t always get the full picture.”

South America

South America was the third cheapest for activities, at an average of $15.00 per experience, the couple told CNBC. Many activities were free, they added.

The couple research and budget for the main activities they want to do before visiting any country, they said.

Hudson and Emily Crider on a hike in Patagonia, South America.

Hudson and Emily Crider

They hiked through “amazing” places like Patagonia and Peru without booking a guide, said Hudson. With online resources, “it was so easy to find it ourselves,” he said.

The couple call this “do-it-yourself style travel,” where they find transportation and explore cities without having to book a tour, said Emily.


“Do-it-yourself” travel even extends to safaris, according to the couple.

In East Africa, Hudson and Emily rented a car and drove through the Serengeti on their own.

Hudson and Emily Crider camping during their self-drive safari in the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Hudson and Emily Crider

“It was more of an adventure than we signed up for, but it was a good way to save money,” said Emily.

Middle East

Transportation typically means metros, buses or tuk-tuks instead of taxis and Uber, the couple said.

Hudson and Emily Crider in Petra, Jordan.

Hudson and Emily Crider

But renting a car can also be worth it.

The couple spent the most on transportation in the Middle East, at an average of $14.00 per ride, they told CNBC.

“If anybody’s traveling to Jordan in particular, rent a car — it’s a great way to meet local people,” said Hudson.


The couple spent $85 on a harbor cruise in Sydney that went past the Sydney Opera House. “We prefer to spend a little less money on housing and food and more on experiences,” said Emily.

They spent the most on activities in Australia, with an average of $42.50 per experience. Transportation, however, was the second-least costly, at an average of $3 per ride.

The cruise was also an example of how the couple create content on the road, as they partnered with a company to promote the experience, said Hudson.


By saving a little bit in every category, the couple save a lot of money in the long run, they told CNBC. They did the same in Europe, which was the second-most expensive for housing, food and transportation.

It helps to spend less time staying in the more expensive areas, said Hudson. Compared with Paris, cities like Prague and Budapest are “equally beautiful” but have housing that is “half the cost,” he added.

Hudson and Emily Crider paragliding in Switzerland.

Hudson and Emily Crider

To get around, the couple used the Eurail unlimited pass to travel to as many places as they wanted within a booked time period, said Hudson. Budget airlines like Wow Air and Ryanair were also “amazing” options, he said.

“We would get a €12.00 flight and spend more on getting the Uber to the airport,” he quipped.

They used Google to find accommodations based on budget, then booked using Airbnb or Booking.com for the “best deals,” said Emily. They typically did a “really cheap hotel or motel” in Europe as it was often less expensive than a hostel, she added.

North America

Although New York consistently ranks as the most expensive city in the U.S., it is a popular destination for travelers who visit North America, said Hudson.

The couple got around by walking or riding on New York’s “amazing” subway system for $2.75 per trip, he said. They used Google Maps to access bus and metro times in almost every major city they visited, they said.

They also said they use blogs and Facebook groups to find suggestions for public transportation too.

More tips

Hudson and Emily try to strike a balance between “comfort and cost” when picking accommodations, they told CNBC.

That often leads to a choice between air conditioning and Wi-Fi, said Hudson. (They rarely compromise on the Wi-Fi.)

Reading an accommodation’s newest reviews gives a “current update of someone’s experience staying there,” said Emily.

“We don’t book places without reviews within the past four or five months.

A hostel room where the Criders stayed in Sydney, Australia.

Hudson and Emily Crider

Bonus points on credit cards also help to save money, said Emily. “Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards are our favorite because those can be transferred to a lot of different hotels and airlines,” she said.

The couple plan for future trips by using Google Flights to notify them if a flight price drops below a certain amount, said Emily. Instead of being fixed on one specific destination, pick five places you want to visit and set notifications for them, she recommended.

As for Hudson and Emily, they have set their sights on more places than that.

They are headed to West Africa next, they said.

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