The job market in America looks rough right now. Unemployment is as high as its been since the great depression, and COVID-19 has been indiscriminate in which jobs it takes to the chopping block. It was obvious that hiring in certain industries like hospitality or dining would be immediately affected by the spread of an extremely contagious disease, but some five months into this pandemic we're starting to get a clearer picture of the depth of the wound. Data released by job hunting site Indeed ($PRIVATE:INDEED) this week revealed which industries have seen the greatest decrease in job listings on their platform.
YoY change in job postings:— Conor Sen (@conorsen) July 21, 2020
-software development -35.0% pic.twitter.com/VhSiFrgQGP
According to Indeed, the four industries with the greatest negative change in postings are childcare, software development, arts & entertainment, and hospitality. For this list, we'll be focusing on the changes in software development hiring, which Indeed says saw a 35% overall decrease in job listings since the onset of COVID-19. Our data shows that same trend reflected across the FAANG companies, who have all significantly slowed hiring in the software engineering space.
While COVID has certainly had an impact on hiring, tech jobs could also be affected by the large push across the industry to allow employees to work remotely. Remote job listings have skyrocketed in the tech field, and the industry-wide change could be making companies cagey about hiring new workers who may end up rarely (or never) being around in person. It may just be that the field is going through a classic J curve.
Below, we've listed the year-over-year and year-to-date change in software engineering job listings at the five tech giants.
1. Facebook ($FB)
Facebook has had a rocky year to say the least, and COVID isn't the only source of its woes. Last month, dozens of brands announced they would be boycotting advertising on the platform until it got a handle on the hate speech and misinformation that runs rampant on their platforms - Concerns which Facebook later failed to appease. All these hiccups coupled with the pandemic and potential caginess about hiring remotely have surely made it hard to focus on developing new products. Despite Facebook being one of the smaller employers of software engineers among FAANG, their overall decrease matches up with Indeed's data.
2. Amazon ($AMZN)
Earlier this year, Amazon was looking to hire an amount of people that would dwarf several American towns combined. This hiring spree started shortly before COVID-19 hit American shores, perhaps in an attempt to preempt the massive demand for online shopping that erupted after lockdowns went into effect across the states. But despite their being enough job listings at Amazon alone to populate a mid-sized city, it seems software engineering jobs didn't get too much of the limelight. There was an increase in software engineering jobs of approximately 2,000 leading up to the hiring spree in February, but that urge has cooled off significantly. These listings have dipped 41% since their February peak. But even with that steep a drop, Amazon is still looking to hire a whopping 6,640 engineers. This titan still has a big appetite.
3. Apple ($APPL)
Apple stands out from the rest of FAANG for having the smallest overall decrease in software engineer job listings at only 19%. The company hasn't slowed its roll at all, announcing impressive new hardware in an effort to keep the ball rolling despite the setbacks of COVID. And it's certainly succeeded - not only has Apple seen record share prices during the pandemic, but all of its fellow FAANG companies have as well.
4. Netflix ($NFLX)
Netflix is by far the smallest employer of software engineers among FAANG, but that hasn't stopped them from slashing job postings regardless. It's an unfortunate time to cut these jobs, too, what with the streaming wars fully taking off during COVID. NBC recently launched its Peacock streaming service, while HBO rolled out its new HBO Max service. But despite the competition, Netflix is moving along healthily and also hit an all-time high share price earlier this month. It seems that they're able to do just as well even with fewer engineers in their lineup.
5. Google ($GOOGL)
Google's year-to-date change in software engineer hiring lines up exactly with Indeed's data. But, yet again, Google has seen record share value despite the cut in what is essentially its bread and butter. The fact that FAANG is doing so well despite the industry-wide decrease in hiring may be more proof that the industry is just going through a significant J curve and this is all natural growing pains.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.