Several thousand Canadians employed in the technology sector have been laid off this year, as a brief post-Pandemic surge has quickly soured into a global downturn.
Layoffs hail from a wide range of companies, including Ottawa’s Shopify, Toronto’s Clearco, and Vancouver’s Article and Unbounce. The freshly rebranded Hootsuite took a particularly large hit, trimming 30% of staff.
More than 400 tech firms in North America have laid off staff in 2022.
As a result, just 9% of tech workers in North America currently feel confident in their job security, according to data from professional social network Blind. Three-quarters of professionals are concerned about a possible economic recession.
Engagement is also low, both for job seekers and the employed. Two-thirds of laid-off employees are not actively seeking new work, according to Blind, while Living Corporate CEO Zach Nunn believes people “feel stuck” right now.
“They are growing less optimistic about their careers while simultaneously growing more anxious about the economy,” he told Blind.
Morale and productivity, especially among companies with layoffs, may remain thin through the year.
“The productivity gains businesses enjoyed during the work-from-home period caused by the pandemic are being challenged and becoming more volatile,” Nunn noted.
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining.
We know that not every investment firm in Canada intends to subscribe to the “VC winter.” And that Canadian companies such as Calgary’s ZayZoon and Toronto’s Properly are still raising capital in August.
We also know that firms like Thomson Reuters and Givex are actively adapting their work policies to create better environments for staff, in order to restore some balance of wellbeing. And that these companies, alongside many others, are actively hiring in 2022.
Some days it feels like we are watching tech talent drop like flies. Yet the momentum of tech growth in Canada is so strong that it seems these anecdotal tragedies are not enough to stall out the sector as a whole.
Net tech employment in Canada reached more than 1.2 million workers at the end of 2021, according to research published by the Computing Technology Industry Association, an increase of 9% over 2020. And while we cannot expect such robust growth, CompTIA projects tech-related work will grow by 1.5% this year—the creation of more than 19,000 net new jobs.
Gordon Pelosse, senior vice president for employer engagement at CompTIA, says “technology is [essential] to every business and industry.”
Peruse the free Tech Talent Canada Job Board for a sampling of opportunities.