The Week in Business: Mass Layoffs at Meta – The New York Times

by | Nov 13, 2022 | Business

Credit…Giacomo BagnaraWhat’s Up? (Nov. 6-12)Lean Times in TechWhat began as a pause in hiring at Meta escalated into mass layoffs last week, with the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, culling more than 11,000 employees, or roughly 13 percent of the work force. He said the company, the parent of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, had grown too quickly during the pandemic, when a boom in online commerce lifted many tech companies. The layoffs were the latest in a string of cuts and hiring freezes across the industry. In the last few weeks alone, Twitter, Stripe and Lyft together have cut thousands of workers, and Amazon said it was pausing hiring for its corporate work force. The layoffs may tell a larger story about the outlook for the economy. But in some cases, unique factors contributed to the cuts: Twitter’s upheaval, for example, largely owes to Elon Musk’s takeover, while at Meta, billions have been invested in Mr. Zuckerberg’s vision for the metaverse, at a time when the company is already struggling financially.Glimmers of Hope for InflationAfter months of stubbornly high inflation, consumer prices have at last showed some signs of easing. The Consumer Price Index rose 7.7 percent in the year through October, slower than the 7.9 percent economists had been expecting before the new data was released on Thursday. The report is likely to be encouraging to Federal Reserve officials, who have been rapidly raising interest rates this year to tame inflation and cool the economy. Past inflation reports and other indicators had shown that many parts of the economy remained relatively resilient in the face of the Fed’s persistent efforts, leading to worries that the central bank’s aggressive path would lead to a recession. But stocks rose on Thursday, with investors taking the latest inflation numbers as an indication that the Fed might soften its approach. The S&P 500 soared 5.5 percent, its best one-day performance in more than two years.A Rapid CollapseA painful week for the crypto world ended with FTX, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges, filing for bankruptcy and changing its leadership. The saga started with a potential deal that promised to save FTX. The exchange had fallen on hard times after Changpeng Zhao, the chief executive of a larger rival called Binance, quest …

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