Introducing: the Layoffs.fyi Severance Tracker

The cumulative damage of startup layoffs has been severe: 500 tech companies have now laid off 64,000+ employees during the pandemic. I wanted to find out — what have these companies been doing to mitigate the impact on laid-off employees?

I’m excited to announce the new Layoffs.fyi Severance Tracker, which tracks all known details of the severance packages offered, compiled from media reports and company announcements. You can see how much each company gave in severance pay and healthcare coverage, whether they made any adjustments to employee stock options, and more. You can also see which CEOs pledged to take a pay cut to show solidarity.

On the whole, the severance packages in COVID-19 layoffs have been more generous than in a typical employee termination, given that it was caused by reasons out of their control. 21 startups have offered over 8 weeks of severance pay, much more than the 2-week standard. Kitty Hawk tops the charts with a whopping 20 weeks of severance.

Many startups have also gone above and beyond in extending healthcare coverage, perhaps recognizing that in this environment, it will take longer than usual to find a new job. Insurance typically lasts through the end of the month of an employee’s termination, but 16 startups offered to extend benefits by at least 4 additional months. Airbnb and GoSpotCheck lead the pack with a full 12 months of extended healthcare benefits.

Other assistance commonly offered include outplacement services, help with resume preparation, and allowing employees to keep their company-issued laptop. As Layoffs.fyi has been highlighting, companies like Airbnb, Uber, and Samsara have also been launching official alumni talent directories to promote their ex-employees.

Which startups have been the most generous to laid-off employees? Of the 500 startups with layoffs, 10 of them offered more than 8 weeks of severance pay and more than 4 months of extended healthcare coverage: Kitty Hawk, Kickstarter, Airbnb, TrueCar, Carta, Glassdoor, Uber, Greenhouse, Brex, and Opendoor. Airbnb and Carta have also been praised for the transparency and empathy displayed in their layoff communication.

CompanySeverance PayHealthcare CoverageLayoff Date
Kitty Hawk20 weeksThrough 20206/3/20
Kickstarter4 months4-6 months5/13/20
AirbnbAt least 14 weeks12 months5/5/20
TrueCar13 weeks plus 1 week for every year of serviceThrough 20205/28/20
Carta3 monthsThrough 20204/15/20
Glassdoor3 monthsThrough 20205/7/20
Uber10 weeksThrough 20205/18/20
Greenhouse 8 weeksThrough 20204/17/20
Brex8 weeksThrough 20205/29/20
Opendoor8 weeks16 weeks4/15/20

There’s no denying the financial and psychological devastation felt by someone who suddenly loses their job. It’s nice to see that, at least in some cases, startup employers are trying to cushion the blow.

Check out the Layoffs.fyi Severance Tracker for full details of severance packages offered by company. Have info about a severance package? Let us know!

Startup layoffs decline to lowest level since mid-March

After peaking in mid-May, the number of new employees laid off from tech startups has declined to its lowest level since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

2,803 employees were laid off from tech startups during the week of 5/27-6/2. This represents the lowest weekly number since the week of 3/18-3/24, and is 68% lower than the pandemic peak 2 weeks ago.

The number of startups cutting jobs continues to fall as well. Only 16 startups conducted layoffs during the week of 5/27-6/2. There’s now been a clear downward trend over the past 8 weeks, ever since a whooping 100 startups cut jobs during the week of 4/1-4/7.

Although both the number of layoffs and the number of employees laid off have been falling, the average layoff has gotten bigger. Of the 10 biggest tech layoffs since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, 6 of them have occurred in the past month. Stitch Fix laid off 1,400 workers just last Monday.

Company# Laid Off%IndustryDate
Uber6,70025%Transportation5/6, 5/18
Groupon2,80044%Retail4/13
Airbnb1,90025%Travel5/5
Agoda1,50025%Travel5/18
Stitch Fix1,40018%Retail6/1
Ola1,40035%Transportation5/20
Stone1,30020%Finance5/12
Toast1,30050%Food4/7
Swiggy1,10014%Food5/18
Magic Leap1,00050%Consumer4/22

In total, 490+ startups have now laid off 63,000+ employees during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Layoffs.fyi Tracker.

Though the cumulative damage has been severe, there are signs that the worst may be behind us. Mirroring the trend in tech layoffs, nationwide unemployment filings also recently reached its lowest weekly level since mid-March. And the overall unemployment rate unexpectedly fell last week, a major surprise compared to prior forecasts.

As states ease months-long lockdown restrictions, the tech sectors hit hardest by layoffs (like transportation, travel, and retail) may finally be recovering. Yesterday, Airbnb reported a surge in domestic rental bookings following months of pent-up demand. And Lyft announced that rides booked grew 26% in May compared to April.

Though recent signs look promising, people are still tempering their expectations. “I had a rule that even in our darkest of hours I wouldn’t get too low because that’s just a moment in time,” Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told Bloomberg. “And if I can’t get too low, then I can’t get too up.”

Startup layoffs slowing down, but more employees laid off on average

Finally, some long-awaited good news: the number of newly-reported startup layoffs has been steadily declining for the past 5 weeks, today’s Uber layoff not withstanding. After a coronavirus record of 99 startups conducted layoffs in the first week of April, this past week saw only 22 startups cut jobs, a decline of 78%.

Unfortunately, the number of employees laid off has not benefited from a similar trend. During that same 5-week period, the number of new employees laid off per week dropped from 7,692 to 6,562, a decline of just 15%.

Part of the reason is that even though fewer startups are laying off, the average layoff has gotten bigger. Last week, Stone laid off 1,300 employees and Deliv laid off 669 employees. The week before, Airbnb laid off 1,900, and Juul laid off 900. Including today’s layoff, Uber has cut 6,700 employees in May alone.

In fact, 4 of the 10 biggest tech layoffs since COVID-19 have occurred in just the past two weeks.

Company# Laid Off%IndustryDate
Uber6,70025%Transportation5/6, 5/18
Groupon2,80044%Retail4/13
Airbnb1,90025%Travel5/5
Stone1,30020%Finance5/12
Toast1,30050%Food4/7
Magic Leap1,00050%Consumer4/22
Yelp1,00017%Consumer4/9
Lyft98217%Transportation4/29
Juul90030%Consumer5/5
TripAdvisor90025%Travel4/28

In the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, smaller cash-strapped startups were the first to conduct layoffs to avoid going out of business. Later-stage startups and recently-public tech companies had more buffer to hold off on layoffs due to their larger cash reserves. At the time, smaller travel startups like Lola, Remote Year, and WanderJaunt were laying off dozens of employees each even though the likes of Airbnb and TripAdvisor hadn’t yet cut staff.

Two months into nationwide lockdowns, these bigger tech companies couldn’t keep holding off. They’ve now also had enough time to properly budget, plan, and execute their layoffs, something that takes longer at a 4,000-person company than a 40-person one. Small wonder that in the first half of May, it’s felt like dominoes falling when it comes to late-stage startup layoffs.

The media has also started selectively covering only the bigger startup layoffs, as layoffs have gotten too frequent to keep up. We’re still trying, though! The Layoffs.fyi Tracker has counted 430+ startups that have laid off 50,000+ employees since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, though there are hundreds more layoffs that haven’t been reported publicly.

Uber just announced another mass layoff today, and WeWork expects to continue performing rolling layoffs through the end of the month. But once the smoke clears from those layoffs, will we finally see some ecosystem renewal? Here’s hoping.

Airbnb

Airbnb launches talent directory of laid-off employees

🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 1,900 employees (25%) ∙ 🖥 All departments

We previously mentioned that Airbnb laid off 1,900 employees (25%) on Tuesday. The company has now launched an official Airbnb talent directory containing details of over 500 ex-Airbnb employees. The directory can be filtered by location and function.

See below link 👇for the official Airbnb layoff list, as well as an unofficial Airbnb layoffs list that we posted previously.

Source: Coda.io

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

Airbnb

Airbnb laid off 1,900 employees

🌎 SF Bay Area ∙ 👩 1,900 employees (25%) ∙ 🖥 All departments

Airbnb, the home sharing startup, laid off 1,900 employees (25%) on Tuesday. In conjunction with the layoff, the company is pausing initiatives like Transportation and Airbnb Studios, and scaling back Hotels and Lux.

Laid-off U.S. employees will receive a very generous severance package of at least 14 weeks of base pay and 12 months of health insurance. The company also said that “we’re allowing everyone leaving to keep their Apple laptops” — which either means that PC owners aren’t eligible, or that no Airbnb employees use a Windows machine?

UPDATE: Added link to a second opt-in list of employees laid off

Source: Airbnb.com (Official), Coda.io (Unofficial)

Our live Layoffs Tracker has a real-time report of all startups that have done layoffs.

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
Uber3,70014%Transportation5/6
Groupon2,80044%Retail4/13
Airbnb1,90025%Travel5/5
Toast1,30050%Food4/7
Yelp1,00017%Consumer4/9
Magic Leap1,00050%Consumer4/22
Lyft98217%Transportation4/29
TripAdvisor90025%Travel4/28

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.