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The job market is cooling. What does that mean for tech workers?

Tech workers may have less sway with companies in a cooling job market, but there are still opportunities.
Tech workers may have less sway with companies in a cooling job market, but there are still opportunities.   -   Copyright  Canva   -  

By Kirstie McDermott

It has been a good couple of years for European workers, as high demand for talent has delivered a number of very useful knock-on benefits.

In March of this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that “tighter labour markets in several advanced economies have been good news so far. They have increased pay, especially for low-wage workers, with a manageable impact on price inflation”.

Of course, many Europeans are feeling the effects of rapidly rising inflation through an increased cost of living, high energy costs and escalating grocery prices, but the IMF doesn’t point to higher wages as a direct cause.

The tight labour market that Europe, and indeed the US, has experienced over the past couple of years was driven in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Germany, for example, saw its inward migration fall by around 25 per cent in 2020, according to Eurofound, as the EU closed its borders to restrict movement and reduce the spread of COVID-19 variants.

The result was a shortage of workers across many sectors. But for those with abundant talents and skills to sell, the labour market became a playground.

Many workers began to assess their current career setups, finding them wanting – whether in terms of salary, work-style or job description – and started looking for something that suited them better, often gaining better benefits and pay as they did so.

In the US, this trend became known as "The Great Resignation". In 2021, according to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs.

The picture looked a little different in Europe, thanks to support and payments from various EU governments designed to protect the jobs of their citizens. But that doesn't mean there hasn’t been movement across the labour market.

Messaging app Slack’s Future Forum Pulse report from April, which includes the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, indicates that workers who are unsatisfied are now three times as likely to say they will "definitely" look for a new job in the coming year.

Younger workers, in particular, are motivated by personal and ethical reasons for making a job move.

Deoitte’s 2022 Millennial Survey found that pay is the number one reason why Gen Zs and Millennials left a role in the last two years. However, good work-life balance and learning and development opportunities were their top priorities when choosing an employer.

Changing picture

As spring 2022 turned to summer, the abundant job market we’d come to think of as normal in Europe began to slowly change. Tech company after tech company announced cutbacks, layoffs and project cancellations.

Some of this was the result of caution in the face of headwinds from the war in Ukraine, high inflation and rising prices.

Other layoffs happened as companies attempted to correct faulty predictions they’d made off the back of pandemic activity.

For example, digital payments giant Stripe revalued itself and slashed its internal valuation by 28 per cent. Fintech Klarna’s value also fell – by a whopping 85 per cent.

As winter approaches, the picture gets chillier.

Elon Musk, now at the helm of Twitter, has eliminated roughly half of Twitter’s workforce, or around 3,700 jobs.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, also announced on Wednesday that it was cutting 11,000 jobs in one of the biggest layoffs of the year.

Meta had more than 87,000 employees at the end of September, and it had added more than 42,000 employees since 2020; this is the first big reduction in its headcount in its 18-year history.

Where the behemoths lead, others follow.

Stripe shed around 1,000 workers last week and Lyft let 700 people go, too.

While no layoffs have been announced, Amazon says it is pressing pause on hiring, and Apple is – for now – only hiring in its research and development arm.

New era

It is clear the bell has curved and we are now entering a new era of employment.

This time around, things may well be pitched in favour of companies and not workers, but for those with an ear to the ground and saleable skills, opportunity will always knock.

For example, where Twitter is faltering, another company is rising up. Social media challenger Mastodon gained 120,000 new users in the four days following Musk's acquisition.

And for jobs at many more startup, scaleup and established companies, you need look no further than Euronews.jobs.

We’re taking a look at three open roles across Europe.

Data Analyst/Manager - Last Mile Planning (m/f/d), Flink

Flink is an online supermarket revolutionising the way you do your grocery shopping. Founded by experienced ecommerce professionals and backed by some of the most renowned investors in Europe, it is growing rapidly.

The Data Analyst/Manager - Last Mile Planning, which is a Berlin-based role, will be responsible for fleet shift planning and scheduling optimisation initiatives, ensuring rider supply meets demand as efficiently as possible - a key driver for unit economics and sustainable growth.

Find out more about the job here.

Senior Connectivity Partner Manager, Airbnb

Airbnb is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.

It is now looking for an experienced and proactive Senior Connectivity Partner Manager based in Paris to accelerate connectivity partnerships in the region to the next level.

You will be managing partner relationships with strategic API connectivity partners and will be responsible for recruitment, enablement and optimisation of strategic partnerships, and become a trusted advisor to accelerate growth and performance.

Apply now here.

(Senior) Manager Cloud Advisory, Accenture

Accenture’s growing Cloud Innovation and Acceleration team, is hiring a (Senior) Manager Cloud Advisory in Amsterdam.

You will be responsible for shaping cloud strategies and transformation journeys, helping clients make the right choices and validating the cloud business case.

You will work together with the client to shape their cloud strategy, their case for change, facilitate workshops and find new opportunities to accelerate their business.

Read the full job specification here.

Want to always know about the latest jobs on offer? Keep your eye on Euronews.jobs