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Tech Used To Be The Holy Grail Of High-Paying Jobs … But Not Anymore

Layoffs and stock slumps are taking their toll on Silicon Valley. Tech Used To Be The Holy Grail Of High-Paying Jobs … But Not Anymore Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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In recent decades, a job in the tech industry has been appealing to Americans of all types — most notably due to the comparatively high salary that individuals in this sector could expect to bring home.

Even though tech hubs generally have a higher-than-average cost of living, it wasn’t hard for most employees to make ends meet and even enjoy some of the finer things in life.

Layoffs and an economic downturn might be changing the status quo.

The big picture

There are a few overarching factors that have combined to make a job at a Big Tech firm significantly less attractive than it would have been just a few short years ago.

Among the most obvious are:

  • Layoffs mean employees are willing to work for less just to keep their jobs.
  • Stock options that were once huge perks are now worth considerably less.
  • Inflation has made everything from real estate to groceries more expensive.

To be sure, there are still some people working for companies like Google, Amazon, or Meta that are earning a comfortable living. But the general atmosphere among folks in this industry has become far more pessimistic lately.

First-hand accounts

The Wall Street Journal recently reached out to a few tech workers who once thought their experiences would be more lucrative than they turned out to be.

Tommy York, for example, accepted a position at Google’s parent company Alphabet in late 2021 just after its stock price hit an all-time high. A year later, however, the seemingly generous stock grant offered as part of his benefits package had lost nearly 40% of its value.

Software engineer Samantha Voigt explained her predicament succinctly: “I used to be able to kind of spend whatever, and it would be fine. Now I’m having to think about it a lot more.”

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 8th, 2023
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