• Tech Job Cuts Soar, Office Attendance Edges Higher, Producer Prices Rise

    Tech Job Cuts Soar

    November was not even half over when a slew of announced layoffs at major technology companies — including Twitter, Salesforce, Lyft and Facebook — sent the industry’s announced tally for the month to 31,200 planned cuts, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported Tuesday.

    That’s more than the total 28,207 U.S. technology layoffs announced from January to October of this year, and 366% higher than the 12,761 job cuts announced by the industry during the full month of November 2021.

    “Already, November has seen the highest monthly total for the sector since September 2015, when 32,500 cuts were announced,” a Challenger statement said. With 59,407 tech job cuts announced year-to-date as of Tuesday, the industry this year has yet to reach levels seen in 2020, when 83,079 layoffs were recorded, and especially 2001, which had the highest tech tally at 168,395 cuts.

    Volatile times for tech firms and their stock prices, in the face of declining revenues, have spurred Facebook parent Meta and others to also scale back their office space needs to help bring down overhead costs in Silicon Valley and other U.S. outposts. Space is being put back on the market for subleasing, and some firms are canceling or downsizing expansion and hiring plans.

    According to business support services provider TrueUp, tech companies worldwide have announced 1,138 rounds of layoffs so far in 2022, affecting 182,605 workers.

    Office Attendance Edges Higher

    Average office attendance in large cities rose slightly from the prior week in the week ended Nov. 9, after three consecutive weeks of small downturns. The 10 cities in security technology firm Kastle Systems’ “Back to Work Barometer” averaged 47.5% of pre-pandemic attendance, up from 47.3% in the prior week and remaining close to the pandemic peak of 49% reached in the week ending Oct. 12.

    Figures are based on anonymous keycard data from Kastle clients’ office properties and reflect a trend of office use remaining stubbornly below 50% of pre-pandemic levels in most major cities. National and regional numbers have remained relatively consistent since Labor Day, however, as more people spend at least part of their work weeks in offices.

    Underscoring a consistent trend of the past year, the only three barometer cities beating 50% of pre-pandemic attendance in the latest tracking were all in Texas, with Austin at 62.2%, Houston at 56.6% and Dallas at 53.8%. Next were New York at 47.2% and Chicago at 46%, with Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., tied at 44.7%

    Producer Prices Rise

    Producer prices, a closely watched measure of supplier costs that affects consumer inflation, rose 0.2% for the month and increased 8% from a year earlier in October, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

    The lower-than-expected annual increase was down from September’s 8.4% and well below the annual rate of 11.7% in March, signaling to some analysts that inflation pressures could be easing in the United States. The government last week reported that annual consumer inflation was at 7.7% for October, down from 8.2% in the prior month.

    “Barring geopolitical or financial crises, inflation should continue its deceleration into 2023,” Jeffrey Roach, chief economist for LPL Financial, said in a statement regarding the producer price report. He noted costs tied to industries such as transportation and warehousing have declined for four consecutive months.

    Factoring out prices for food and energy that remain historically high, the annual rise in costs to supply goods and services was 5.4% in October, the government reported.

    Stock markets reacted positively to the producer price news, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite all posting small gains Tuesday.

    Source: www.CoStar.com