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Why mass tech layoffs don’t necessarily indicate a recession

Yes, layoffs are surmounting all around those in the tech industry, and though many foresee this as a recession indicator, it isn’t.

person looking out window representing tech layoffs

Nothing is a real problem until it affects the wealthy.

That’s why predictable oil spills are fine, the sick joke of a misnomer that is American healthcare is fine, and crumbling infrastructure is fine.

So when the harried masses are afraid that mass tech layoffs are an indicator of financial recession, the answer from Goldman Sachs isit’s fine.

Or at least, it’s not the sign of a downturn you think it is.

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Thousands of people losing their jobs because executives wrote hiring checks their actual profits (and personal salaries) can’t/won’t cash does not a recession make. The good people at Oxford define a recession as,

“A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”

Programmers of the world rejoice! This isn’t actually a recession, it’s just something terrible happening to you and your sector.

And of course, there are still loads of open jobs in tech! Going without a paycheck, or having the clock tick down on your work visa, or desperately competing with the pools of your own colleagues and younger, hotter new graduates for positions that might turn out to also not be viable long term to startups and established institutions alike for months at a stretch doesn’t mean the economy or even the industry is getting rocked.

It’s just a you problem.

To be fair, I’m exaggerating a bit for effect. New graduates aren’t hotter just because they’re young. They’re a catch for employers based on their fresh degree, open mind, and tenacity (or perhaps, desperativity) to jump into the career world.

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More importantly, it is paramount that we learn to call things what they actually are. “Unpaid overtime” is theft, the term “average” needs marked distinction between the mathematical and the vernacular when used in news, and widespread job-related misfortune in a particular sector doesn’t stop the money machines grinding all over—so it is not an indicator of recession.

Whether or not that makes you feel any better is just another variable.

You can't spell "Together" without TGOT: That Goth Over There. Staff Writer, April Bingham, is that goth; and she's all about building bridges— both metaphorically between artistry and entrepreneurship, and literally with tools she probably shouldn't be allowed to learn how to use.

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