Uber and Airbnb’s layoffs rank as two of the biggest in tech since COVID-19

This morning, Uber announced it was laying off 3,700 employees (14%) in its customer support and recruiting teams. The CEO’s letter to staff strongly hints that more cuts are coming in the next two weeks. As many as 5,400 employees are expected to ultimately be laid off.

Yesterday, Airbnb laid off 1,900 employees (25%) across all teams. It expects revenue to fall by more than half in 2020 as global travel stays frozen.

This means that in the past two days alone, we’ve seen two of three biggest tech layoffs since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic on March 11:

Company# Laid Off%IndustryDate
Magic Leap1,00050%Consumer4/22

Not surprisingly, nearly all of these mass layoffs — including Uber’s and Airbnb’s — can be attributed to shelter-in-place orders. Our previous analysis showed that 2/3 of startup employees laid off have come from industries directly affected by shelter-in-place, such as transportation, travel, real estate, food, and fitness. The layoffs have hurt sales and customer success roles most.

Unfortunately, more big layoffs are still to come. Juul is reportedly planning to lay off 800 to 950 employees, roughly one-third of staff. WeWork, which has already cut thousands of employees across multiple rounds of layoffs, expects to continue making cuts through the end of May. Square has managed to avoid a layoff so far, but remains exposed to small business customers in food and retail that have been shutting down en masse.

Our live Layoffs Tracker is tracking all startup layoffs, and has now tallied over 42,000 employees laid off across 374 companies. Best wishes to those affected and here’s hoping that we reach the bottom soon.