Philly employers are desperately seeking tech workers even as Silicon Valley giants are laying off thousands

Lizzy McLellan Ravitch, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Business News

Major layoffs at big technology companies have dominated national headlines in recent months, seemingly portending doom and gloom for tech workers. But the reality for most companies, including Philadelphia employers, is a continuing shortage of skilled technologists and a desire to hire more.

Recent cuts at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Meta, Twitter, Coinbase and Spotify have tallied up to more than 50,000 roles in the tech industry.

But local experts say that many of the eliminated positions belonged to support roles like salespeople and recruiters, rather than technologists, and many companies outside the technology sector still need tech-skilled workers desperately.

"We routinely confuse the difference between tech jobs," which exist in all industries, "and jobs in tech," which include business functions within a tech-focused company, said Christopher Wink, cofounder and CEO of, a news organization that serves the tech and start-up community.

The recent layoffs Wink has seen locally are few, he said. Even for those workers, "the prospects are good if you're a highly skilled professional with a prestigious company on your resume," Wink added.

Locally, "tech jobs" have generally been safe from cuts, he explained, because they tend to be focused on maintenance or development of current products. In that way, Philadelphia is different from Silicon Valley, where many technologists are doing research and development and other speculative work, Wink said, which might get de-emphasized in a recession.


"The biggest impact is more the psychological impact," Brittany Nisenzon, a regional director for recruiting firm Robert Half, said of the national layoff news. In other words, seeing huge public companies laying off thousands of workers makes other companies pause, but local employers don't seem to be considering layoffs en masse. Still, they have slowed the hiring process slightly, she said.

In tech-focused jobs specifically, demand has been consistent, Nisenzon said. Companies want people with software development, DevOps and infrastructure engineering skills, as well as tech support workers, she said, and many companies still need people to help them move from on-premise to cloud-based systems.

"The highest demand is certainly on skilled technology, people that have experience," she added. That presents difficulties, because local employers need to attract entry-level tech workers as well, if they want to have a pool of skilled workers later.

Getting the people


swipe to next page

©2023 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus