AUSTIN (KXAN)– Another big tech company with an Austin presence has announced big layoffs.
On Friday, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, said it is cutting 12,000 jobs across the company– its largest round of layoffs.
In a message posted online, CEO Sundar Pichai said he was “deeply sorry” for the cuts.
“This is egregious and unacceptable behavior by a company that made $17 billion dollars in profit last quarter alone,” said Parul Koul, Executive Chair of Alphabet Workers Union-CWA, in an emailed statement to KXAN News.
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) said the agency has not yet received a WARN letter for Google or its parent company, Alphabet.
The WARN Act is a federal law that requires companies with 100 or more workers to give at least 60 days advance written notice of a site closing and mass layoffs affecting more than 50 workers.
In late 2022, colleagues with a big Austin presence, including Meta and Amazon, announced their own layoffs and hiring freezes.
Even with all the turmoil in the tech sector, the Austin metro area’s economy is growing.
According to the latest jobs numbers released by the TWC Friday, the area’s unemployment rate is lower than the rest of the state and the country.
So, is Austin insulated from these big tech cuts?
“The short answer is yes, we are insulated,” said Matt Patton, executive vice president of Angelou Economics.
Patton said Austin outpaces the rest of the country in job creation and he’s forecasting another productive, strong year in 2023.
“That doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges and that we should ignore some of those decisions because those impact people on a very personal level. But this is the far better place to be than other places that might be experiencing similar disruptions to their economies,” he said.
He credits Austin’s business diversity.
“This is such a robust economy locally, that it’s not dependent on any one thing, or any one company,” Patton said.
“That tells me we’re doing something right,” said Roland Peña, senior vice president of global technology and innovation with the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and Opportunity Austin.
Peña points the Austin metro’s start-up scene as a strong example: It’s worth over $128 billion, an all-time high.
“I think that plays a role in in what we’re seeing in terms of how robust we are,” he said. “Why companies want to move here, whether it’d be a corporate entity, whether it be a startup, whether it be international or elsewhere, USA… it’s attractive because companies are successful here and they have just the right elements to help them be much more successful.”
Peña said companies like Google said they are restructuring, due to economic conditions, could present an opportunity for Austin.
“‘Where are the areas that are most efficient? Where are the areas that we’re gonna get more bang for our buck? Where… are the areas that that we can exceed and excel?’ And Austin is a very good location for that, it’s proven itself during the pandemic,” he said.
In its Tuesday briefing, the TWC said the Lonestar State is not really seeing the effects of layoffs, yet. It said 2022 was Texas’ second strongest year on record and the state is showing a lot of growth.
KXAN’s media partners at the Austin Business Journal showed Google is just outside the top 30 private employers in the Austin-area with 2,000 workers.
Number one is H-E-B with more than 20,000 employees, followed by Dell with 13,000, Ascension Texas with just over 12,000 workers and Amazon with 11,000.