Apple Reportedly Begins Layoffs as It Prepares for Yet Another Return-to-Office Push

Apple Reportedly Begins Layoffs as It Prepares for Yet Another Return-to-Office Push

Though they held out longer than most, Apple has reportedly finally succumbed to the great tech layoffs of 2022.

The Big Tech titan reportedly laid off around 100 of its contract-based recruiters over the past week, according to sources speaking in a recent Bloomberg report. Those alleged layoffs come amid a hiring slowdown at Apple and during a wider tech downturn that’s forced tens of thousands of tech workers to start looking for new jobs.

Apple’s recent layoffs notably did not affect full-time employees, and some contractor recruiters were able to keep their jobs. Those unlucky 100 or so who lost their jobs reportedly received a message from Apple saying they were laid off due to changes in Apple’s business needs. The former recruiters, who spanned multiple regions, will reportedly receive two weeks of pay and medical benefits.

Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, though CEO Tim Cook acknowledged some pains attributed to rising inflation in an interview with CNBC last month.

“We do see inflation in our cost structure,” Cook said. “We see it in things like logistics and wages and certain silicon components. And we’re still hiring, but we’re doing it on a deliberate basis.”

The layoffs come just as Apple is preparing yet another push to bring more of its workers back into the office. After multiple botched efforts, Apple has reportedly set a new target deadline for September 5 to bring its corporate employees back into the office at least three days per week, Bloomberg notes. Those days would include Tuesdays, Thursdays, and one additional day determined by individual teams.

Apple executives have tried to reel workers back into expensive corporate offices since 2021, but additional, pesky covid variants and increased infection rates led the company to perpetually delay hard requirements. The company’s efforts have drawn repeated criticism from Apple employees and were reportedly a motivating factor in the former Director of Machine Learning’s departure earlier this year. Around the same time as his departure, a group of Apple employees wrote an open letter to company executives, criticising the policies which it claimed were “driven by fear.”

“We are not asking for everyone to be forced to work from home,” the letter reads. “We are asking to decide for ourselves, together with our teams and direct manager, what kind of arrangement works best for each one of us, be that in an office, work from home, or a hybrid approach.”

Layoffs have touched just about every corner of the industry, affecting everything from AI and fintech startups to cryptocurrency firms and about everything in between. Just in the past few months, Netflix, Klarna, Calm, Substack, Tesla, and Coinbase have all issued layoffs of various sizes. Overall, Crunchbase estimates some 34,000 tech workers have lost their jobs in 2022. Unemployment claims across the U.S. economy generally, meanwhile, are at an eight-year high.

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