Signage at Google's office building in New York, New York,...

Signage at Google's office building in New York, New York, USA, 20 January 2023. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced on 20 January plans to cut 6% of its employees, about 12,000 jobs, reportedly in response to a possible economic slowdown and as a result of over expansion during the pandemic. Google parent company Alphabet annnouced layoffs, New York, USA - 20 Jan 2023 Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Google is laying off 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its workforce, becoming the latest tech company to trim staff as the economic boom that the industry rode during the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs.

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet — parent company of Google — informed staff Friday at the Silicon Valley giant about the cuts in an email that was also posted on the company's news blog.

It's one of the company's biggest-ever round of layoffs and adds to tens of thousands of other job losses recently announced by Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook parent Meta and other tech companies as they tighten their belts amid a darkening outlook for the industry. Just this month, there have been at least 48,000 job cuts announced by major companies in the sector.

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth,” Pichai wrote. “To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

A Long Island tech expert said news of massive layoffs in the tech sector presents a hiring opportunity for local technology firms.

“A lot of the smaller and medium-sized companies on Long Island have been looking for people with experience,” said Peter Goldsmith, chairman of local technology advocacy group LISTnet. “Lots of those people were getting offered higher salaries in the city" by Google and other companies, he said. "Long Island companies couldn’t match those salaries.”

Google employed at least 7,000 in New York City in 2018, according to published reports.

Google's Pichai said the jobs being eliminated “cut across Alphabet, product areas, functions, levels and regions. He said he was “deeply sorry” for the layoffs.

Regulatory filings illustrate how Google’s workforce swelled during the pandemic, ballooning to nearly 187,000 people by late last year from 119,000 at the end of 2019.

With Victor Ocasio

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