The Shrinking Trillion Dollar Market Cap Club
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The Shrinking Trillion Dollar Market Cap Club

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Infographic showing the shrinking trillion dollar market cap club

The Shrinking Trillion Dollar Club

Aggressive tightening from the Federal Reserve has caused tech stocks to plummet back to Earth in 2022, and this has shaken up the membership of the trillion dollar market cap club.

Here are the four current members of this exclusive club:

CompanySectorDate Market Cap Hit $1TMarket Cap (Nov 3, 2022)
Apple (AAPL)TechAug 2, 2018$2.21 trillion
Aramco (2222)EnergyDec 11, 2019$2.01 trillion
Microsoft (MSFT)TechApr 25, 2019$1.60 trillion
Alphabet (GOOGL)TechJan 16, 2020$1.08 trillion

Apple, Microsoft, and Aramco are all still well above the $1 trillion mark for now, but Alphabet’s trajectory could take it out of this list if circumstances don’t change soon. Google has indicated that the decrease in crypto advertising has had a big impact on revenue, and ad budgets continue to be slashed as economic uncertainty continues.

Here are the three former members who have seen their market cap dip back below $1 trillion:

CompanySectorDate Market Cap Hit $1TMarket Cap (Nov 3, 2022)
Amazon (AMZN)Tech/RetailSep 4, 2018$911 billion
Tesla (TSLA)AutomotiveOct 25, 2021$675 billion
Meta (META)TechJun 28, 2021$236 billion

Amazon recently became the latest company to fall below the 10-digit threshold. In response to a poorly received earnings report and forecasts for lighter spending this upcoming holiday season, the ecommerce giant has paused corporate hiring for the foreseeable future.

Though Tesla’s valuation has dipped in recent months, Elon Musk remains bullish on Tesla’s prospects, stating the company could eventually be “worth more than Apple and Saudi Aramco combined”. To his credit, Tesla reported record revenues last month.

Diverging Fortunes

Though Apple is down nearly 20% from its peak, the company has faired better than its tech giant peers. In fact, Apple is now worth as much as Amazon, Meta, and Alphabet combined.

Comparing the market caps of apple vs meta apple amazon

Meta, on the other hand, isn’t just going through tough times, it’s the worst performer in the entire S&P 500 this year so far.

Investors are bearish on Mark Zuckerberg’s expensive leap of faith that is the “metaverse” – a virtual reality world that people access via headsets (e.g. Meta Quest). It’s too early to tell whether Meta is on the forefront of the next digital revolution, or embarking on one of the most expensive tech flops in history.

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Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs Since 2020

How bad are the current layoffs in the tech sector? This visual reveals the 20 biggest tech layoffs since the start of the pandemic.

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layoffs in tech

Ranked: America’s 20 Biggest Tech Layoffs This Decade

The events of the last few years could not have been predicted by anyone. From a global pandemic and remote work as the standard, to a subsequent hiring craze, rising inflation, and now, mass layoffs.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, essentially laid off the equivalent of a small town just weeks ago, letting go of 12,000 people—the biggest layoffs the company has ever seen in its history. Additionally, Amazon and Microsoft have also laid off 10,000 workers each in the last few months, not to mention Meta’s 11,000.

This visual puts the current layoffs in the tech industry in context and ranks the 20 biggest tech layoffs of the 2020s using data from the tracker, Layoffs.fyi.

The Top 20 Layoffs of the 2020s

Since 2020, layoffs in the tech industry have been significant, accelerating in 2022 in particular. Here’s a look at the companies that laid off the most people over the last three years.

RankCompany# Laid Off% of WorkforceAs of
#1Google12,0006%Jan 2023
#2Meta11,00013%Nov 2021
#3Amazon10,0003%Nov 2021
#4Microsoft10,0005%Jan 2023
#5Salesforce8,00010%Jan 2023
#6Amazon8,0002%Jan 2023
#7Uber6,70024%May 2020
#8Cisco4,1005%Nov 2021
#9IBM3,9002%Jan 2023
#10Twitter3,70050%Nov 2022
#11Better.com3,00033%Mar 2022
#12Groupon2,80044%Apr 2020
#13Peloton2,80020%Feb 2022
#14Carvana2,50012%May 2022
#15Katerra2,434100%Jun 2021
#16Zillow2,00025%Nov 2021
#17PayPal2,0007%Jan 2023
#18Airbnb1,90025%May 2020
#19Instacart1,877--Jan 2021
#20Wayfair1,75010%Jan 2023

Layoffs were high in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, halting the global economy and forcing staff reductions worldwide. After that, things were steady until the economic uncertainty of last year, which ultimately led to large-scale layoffs in tech—with many of the biggest cuts happening in the past three months.

The Cause of Layoffs

Most workforce slashings are being blamed on the impending recession. Companies are claiming they are forced to cut down the excess of the hiring boom that followed the pandemic.

Additionally, during this hiring craze competition was fierce, resulting in higher salaries for workers, which is now translating in an increased need to trim the fat thanks to the current economic conditions.

layoffs in the tech sector

Of course, the factors leading up to these recent layoffs are more nuanced than simple over-hiring plus recession narrative. In truth, there appears to be a culture shift occurring at many of America’s tech companies. As Rani Molla and Shirin Ghaffary from Recode have astutely pointed out, tech giants really want you to know they’re behaving like scrappy startups again.

Twitter’s highly publicized headcount reduction in late 2022 occurred for reasons beyond just macroeconomic factors. Elon Musk’s goal of doing more with a smaller team seemed to resonate with other founders and executives in Silicon Valley, providing an opening for others in tech space to cut down on labor costs as well. In just one example, Mark Zuckerberg hailed 2023 as the “year of efficiency” for Meta.

Meanwhile, over at Google, 12,000 jobs were put on the chopping block as the company repositions itself to win the AI race. In the words of Google’s own CEO:

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today… We have a substantial opportunity in front of us with AI across our products and are prepared to approach it boldly and responsibly.”– Sundar Pichai

The Bigger Picture in the U.S. Job Market

Beyond the tech sector, job openings continue to rise. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed a total of 11 million job openings across the U.S., an increase of almost 7% month-over-month. This means that for every unemployed worker in America right now there are 1.9 job openings available.

Additionally, hiring increased significantly in January, with employers adding 517,000 jobs. While the BLS did report a decrease in openings in information-based industries, openings are increasing rapidly especially in the food services, retail trade, and construction industries.

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