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Source: The post is based on the article “Layoffs by IT firms in the U.S. will greatly impact H-1B workers” published in The Hindu on 1st December 2022.
What is the News?
The layoffs by the IT Firms in the US will significantly impact the Indian H-1B workers.
Why have there been layoffs by IT firms in the US?
In 2020, the number of people employed by Meta was about 58,000. Despite two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the employee count increased to 87,000 in 2022. Tech giants Amazon, Microsoft and Apple also recorded a similar increase.
The idea was to cash in on the increased online presence of Internet users due to COVID-19-related movement restrictions by widening operations.
However, as the intensity of the pandemic declined, the time spent online also reduced. Dependence on online platforms reduced for activities such as shopping and studying. Over 95% of people were already using social media and messaging platforms.
Hence, as the expectation that online usage will continue to grow did not materialize, the net incomes of tech companies fell resulting in layoffs.
What is the impact of these layoffs on Indian IT workers working in the US?
Indian workers who have been laid-off have a big worry. If they are unable to find a new employer within 60 days, they are faced with the prospect of leaving the U.S. and re-entering later.
But the average waiting time for an interview appointment in the U.S. Embassy in cities in India is over a year. This is a problem that only Indian workers face as the waiting time in other countries is less by at least 100 days; in a majority of them, it is less than 15 days.
To make matters worse, the prospects of these Indian workers back home are also weak. Most Indian IT companies have frozen or slowed down hiring as recessionary fears in the U.S. and high inflation in Europe have kept demand low.