SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Several big name tech companies in Silicon Valley are shedding more than a thousand employees in the next several weeks, the Employment Development Department confirmed Wednesday.
But one tech expert warned the layoffs were not a sign of an economic downturn. Instead, Joint Venture Silicon Valley President Russ Hancock said, the layoffs were typical of the tech industry.
Paypal, Oracle and SAP America were among the companies that sent notices to the EDD of the layoffs totaling 1,312.
“The tech sector is maybe the most volatile sector, remember, product life cycles come and go,” said Hancock. “One reason this is making headlines is because people have a sense that winter is coming. They’re thinking we’ve been riding this upturn for a long time.”
Richard Levin worked in tech on the software side for 35 years before it ended with a pink slip two years ago.
“It was determined we had too many people in this area so they cut back,” he said.
He said he witnessed layoffs every year at his company, and reiterated what Hancock said that they are the norm of the industry.
“We don’t want to minimize this for the people that are laid off, it’s this terrible upheaval in their lives,” said Hancock.
“On the other hand, you have to keep this in perspective, there are 1.5 million people working in Silicon Valley and about 40 percent of those jobs, even more, are tech jobs. Tech companies are constantly upsizing, downsizing, pivoting, moving into new markets, moving out of old markets, this is actually fully to be expected.”
SAP told EDD it’s laying off 446 workers, Oracle is preparing to let go of 352 employees, Paypal is at 183, Thin Film Electronics is laying off 52 and Instacart has told 162 employees they will soon have their last day.
Paypal told the state agency that it’s restructuring, and Oracle said it’s reevaluating its product focus. But Hancock said because the economy is so strong, these laid-off workers will likely have a good chance at finding work again.
In February alone, the Bay Area added 7,000 jobs. But for Levin, he said he didn’t return to the tech industry after being laid off. He retired.
“I lasted enough, but didn’t make it through to the end,” he said. “Enough was enough.”