Microsoft is expanding its hiring slowdown, after it began withdrawing job openings in a number of divisions.

Bloomberg reported that the software giant is eliminating many open jobs, including in its Azure cloud business and its security software unit, as the economy continues to weaken.

It comes after a senior executive warned the management of the Windows and Office divisions in May this year to adopt a more conservative approach to hiring new people.

Hiring slowdown

Then earlier this month Microsoft began cutting less than 1 percent of jobs as part of an annual structural adjustment, which it said was routinely carried out every summer.

And now Bloomberg reported that Microsoft is withdrawing job listings for its cloud and security divisions – both of which have performed well, financially speaking.

However Microsoft reportedly confirmed it would honour job offers that have already been made for open roles and will make some exceptions for critical roles.

“As Microsoft gets ready for a new fiscal year, it is making sure the right resources are aligned to the right opportunity,” a spokesperson reportedly said.

“Microsoft will continue to grow headcount in the year ahead, and we will add additional focus to where those resources go.”

At the same time as Microsoft is reducing its hiring, President Brad Smith earlier this week issued a stark assessment of the troubles facing US companies fulfilling staffing positions, due in part to declining population growth in key markets.

Smith identified declining birth rates in the United States, Europe, China and Japan, as one of the reasons for the declining working age populations in those countries.

Government stimulus during the pandemic, Covid-19 concerns, childcare and other factors have contributed to the current labour shortage as well.

Economic concerns

Microsoft is not alone is slowing hiring and tightening its fiscal belt.

This week Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman (a noted Apple leaker), reported that Apple won’t backfill roles or add new staff in certain cases, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The iPhone giant is to also slow hiring and spending for a number of its teams in 2023, he wrote.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai meanwhile last week in an email to staff warned that Alphabet plans to slow down hiring and consolidate investments through 2023

Facebook parent Meta Platforms earlier this month scaled back its target for adding software engineers this year from 10,000 to around 6,000 to 7,000.

Tesla meanwhile is already restructuring its operations and is in the process of axing 10,000 jobs, after Elon Musk announced he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and planned to cut headcount by 10 percent and “pause all hiring worldwide.”

These moves come as the world faces inflationary pressures, rising fuel costs and food prices, caused in part by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the economic fallout from lockdowns imposed during the global Coronavirus pandemic.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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