Tech in Vancouver: A Timeline Infographic - Visual Capitalist
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Tech in Vancouver: A Timeline Infographic

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Part 1: The History of Tech in VancouverPart 2: Is Vancouver a Legitimate Tech Hub?Part 3: Future of Tech in Vancouver - Coming Aug 2014

Tech in Vancouver: History and Timeline

Part 1: The History of Tech in VancouverPart 2: Is Vancouver a Legitimate Tech Hub?Part 3: Future of Tech in Vancouver - Coming Aug 2014

Tech in Vancouver: History and Timeline

Recently, we asked ourselves the question: is Vancouver really a global tech hub or is that just the local spin?

In researching this, we came across an amazing wealth of information on the Vancouver tech scene and decided to turn it into a three part infographic series that covers the past, present, and future of tech in Vancouver.

To kick things off, we dug deep into Vancouver’s past to see how the industry emerged. It turns out that the birth of tech in The Rainy City stems from two main companies: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates and MPR Teltech. This Cantech Letter article does a great job documenting how they came on the scene and what the people behind these companies accomplished.

Over the last 40 years, Vancouver has had great homegrown stories in green energy (Ballard Power), video games (Distinctive Software), enterprise services (Crystal Decisions), space tech (MDA), social media collaboration (Hootsuite), quantum computing (D-Wave), and many other cutting edge areas. Because of that success, Vancouver was able to eventually attract the big boys to set up shop.

Now that we’ve established a timeline of Vancouver’s tech history, it is time to look at the present picture. That will be Part Two of the series, coming soon.

To keep posted on the next two parts of the series, subscribe to our e-mail publication or connect with us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you can also tip us with bitcoin: 1HBy6xYNyexLDndowzs1mxMbviuWo9bxRv

Note: All job titles and names used in this graphic are for illustrative purposes and are not meant to correspond to actual people. We wanted to give an idea of what jobs during each era might be like, but without invading anyone’s privacy. Therefore, we used fictional names/titles.

Special thanks to the people who helped us build this infographic: The Visual Capitalist team and also Connie Chen who volunteered time to help us put together facts.

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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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