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Google Will Lay Off 12,000 Workers Due to 'Difficult Economic Cycles'

The tech giant sent out the layoff notice early Friday morning, joining the ranks of other tech giants that are reducing their workforces.

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Google will lay off about 12,000 people in the U.S. beginning immediately, CEO Sundar Pichai announced in an email to staff on Friday, per CNBC.

Anna Moneymaker / Staff
Google CEO Sundar Pichai in June 2022.

"We've decided to reduce our workforce by approximately 12,000 roles," he wrote.

"This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with. I'm deeply sorry for that... I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here," he added.

Related: 'Important Information About Your Role': Amazon Delivers News of Layoffs via Email

Google, like many tech companies, has been affected by the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates. This, along with inflation, has led to reduced digital ad spending. Google's advertising revenue fell "dramatically" in earnings reported in late October, the Associated Press noted.

Google also put off paying 20% of employee bonuses until March or April, CNBC reported, citing internal documents. The company normally pays out year-end bonuses in January, but employees only received 80% of their total bonuses this month.

Google also recently made changes to its performance systems but has managed to avoid layoffs until now, unlike other tech giants. Peer Amazon announced plans to cut some 18,000 jobs, and Microsoft said Wednesday it will lay off 10,000 employees.

Related: Google Could Put Over 10,000 On Notice With Its New Rating System

Pichai said that the company over-hired in the memo. "Over the past two years we've seen periods of dramatic growth. To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today," he wrote.

"As an almost 25-year-old company, we're bound to go through difficult economic cycles," he also said.

The Googlers who are laid off will receive pretty generous benefits: The memo stated the company will pay employees through a 60-day notification period and offer severance packages equal to 16 weeks of the person's salary. They'll receive an additional two weeks' severance for every year they've worked at the company.

Google will also offer "six months of healthcare, job placement services and immigration support for those affected," it noted.

"While this transition won't be easy, we're going to support employees as they look for their next opportunity," Pichai said. He ended the note by letting employees know they could work from home today.

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