Hiring

Google stocks slide and hiring slows—but IT workers expected to escape the ax

Tech companies are spooked by an ‘uncertain environment,’ but it’s unlikely IT jobs are first on the chopping block.
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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From cybersecurity and big data to software development and gaming, IT Brew delivers the latest news and analysis of trends shaping the IT industry, like only The Brew can.

It’s almost to the point where Googling “disappointing tech stocks” might prompt the search engine’s parent company to surface in the results.

Tech giant Alphabet posted less-than-expected revenue growth, propelled primarily by a drop in ad sales through YouTube. A drop in growth from 41% last year to 6% this year is likely to be seen as a need to reset some company priorities.

“There’s no question we’re operating in an uncertain environment,” Google SVP and chief business officer Philipp Schindler told investors in October during the company’s quarterly earnings call, “and that businesses, big and small, continue to get tested in new and different ways depending on where they are in the world.”

Trending down. Alphabet isn’t alone in seeing a decline in earnings. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has seen its fortunes plunge due in part to decline in ad revenue and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s focus on VR platform Horizon Worlds—which, as IT Brew reported, is plagued with bugs and other problems.

“Our actions to slow the pace of hiring will become more apparent in 2023,” Alphabet’s SVP and CFO Ruth Porat told investors.

IT power. That comment is not likely aimed at IT workers. Thus far, the IT aspect of the business model for Alphabet appears to be secure. During the earnings call, the company announced that they are going to invest in cloud infrastructure and IT modernization, as well as incorporating more AI into software.

The job market for engineers, CISOs, and other tech-centered “hard skilled” workers remains strong. ZipRecruiter chief economist Julia Pollak told IT Brew that the fundamentals of the IT labor market are strong. Companies like Alphabet aren’t likely to slash engineering and tech jobs, even if they slow the pace of hiring.

“When these major companies do conduct layoffs, it’s typically not IT professionals,” Pollak said. “The layoffs are mostly concentrated among support staff and marketing staff and people in roles that are not so directly linked to the knowledge economy and tech and the roles that you actually need to turn out new products, drive innovation, [and] grow users.”—EH

Top insights for IT pros

From cybersecurity and big data to software development and gaming, IT Brew delivers the latest news and analysis of trends shaping the IT industry, like only The Brew can.