When we first saw that hiring was slowing down at SpaceX ($PRIVATE:SPACEX), we conjectured that it could have been due to the fact that the company's satellite-based broadband network was moving into its next phase. That's because the satellite division saw massive hiring and then a virtual standstill.
But overall trends for hiring at SpaceX appear to denote a company-wide slowdown when it comes to hiring.
On May 30, the company had 557 openings listed on its careers site. Today, it lists 255 openings. When compared by job category, virtually all are down, again including Satellite Development which has gone from 55 to 0 openings as of today. "Supply Chain Management" and "Vehicle Engineering - Mechanical Design and Development" jobs have remained somewhat stable, moving from 56 to 55 and 15 to 10 openings, respectively.
The complete lack of openings for SpaceX's "Satellite Development" category could lead one to assume that SpaceX is ceasing operations for its Starlink low-orbital broadband network. However, regulatory filings with the Federal Communications Commision earlier this month indicate that SpaceX is indeed still in the Starlink game as it continues to test prototype Starlink internet satellites called "Tintin A and B".
Meanwhile, other satellite launches at SpaceX haven't slowed down as of late: in late July the company successful launched ten Iridium NEXT satellites from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
That launch, according to SpaceX, was just the 7th set of satellites of 75 total satellites that SpaceX will launch for Iridium's Iridium NEXT satellite constellation.
Whatever the reason for the hiring slowdown, there are no indications that design, testing, and launching at SpaceX has slowed down.
Hiring at aerospace and defense companies tends to be cyclical as contracts and projects come and go, so this is likely just another chapter in the private aerospace company's fascinating journey.