Labor market

Tech sector layoffs and what they foreshadow

April 10, 2023

Chart showing four plotted lines. One line shows actual technology sector head counts from the start of 2016 through February 2023. A second, straight line takes the head-count growth rate from 2016 through 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic and projects it to 2020 and onward to show the trend if the past growth rate were applied. Actual head count dipped below this trend line in early 2020, then rose dramatically over the trend line in mid-2021 before starting to drop in early 2023 while still staying above trend. A third line, showing Vanguard’s projections, crosses below the trend line in late 2023 but ends up only modestly lower than trend in 2024 before starting to gradually rise again. A fourth line shows what head counts were in the years after the dot-com implosion in the early 2000s but transposed to future years. That line drops below trend in mid-2023 and keeps plummeting. The chart illustrates that Vanguard projects final head counts to be only modestly below the long-term trend and well above what happened after the dot-com bubble burst.


Adam Schickling
Scott Miles
Vanguard Information and Insights

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