Freakonomics Radio

Bay Area Tech Layoffs Stoke Fears of Impending Recession

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Twitter headquarters stands on 10th Street on November 4, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Twitter Inc reportedly began laying off employees across its departments on Friday as new owner Elon Musk is reportedly looking to cut around half of the company's workforce.  (Photo by David Odisho/Getty Images)

In the past week, reports of major layoffs at tech employers including  Twitter, Meta and online payments company Stripe are fueling fears of a tech bust 2.0. Earlier this year, electric vehicle makers Tesla and Rivian, software maker Autodesk and fintech company Robinhood also cut hundreds of workers. The news is sending jolts through the Bay Area, which has enjoyed historically low unemployment for several years with high demand for tech workers. We talk about what these layoffs mean for the Bay Area’s economy and how to gauge the threat of an impending recession.


Jeff Bellisario, executive director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute

Sheera Frenkel, technology reporter based in San Francisco, The New York Times; co-author, "An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination"