Just months or weeks after announcing large layoffs, many tech corporations started employing foreign workers again, raising questions and attracting criticism. Many tech giants, like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta, started laying off a significant percentage of their workforces in the latter part of last year. The same corporations may now be willing to hire low-paid overseas workers to fill technical roles, according to a recent report.
According to data from the US Department of Labour used in an article by investigative journalist Lee Fang, Google submitted applications for low-paid H1-B employees to cover highly specialised tech roles in the US. These employees frequently have H1-B visas.
Google submitted applications for positions including software engineers, analytical consultants, user experience researchers, and more. A Google company called Waymo that specialises in self-driving cars also requested visa applications for engineering positions. The majority of the visas, many of which were for new hires, had August 17 start dates.
Data from the Department of Labour showed that companies like Meta Platforms, Amazon, Zoom, Salesforce, and Microsoft have requested thousands of H1-B foreign worker visas. These companies have recently seen massive layoffs.
The recent hirings bring to light the irony that the US cutbacks have directly impacted thousands of H1-B visa holders, including those from India. Following their termination, these workers have lost or would soon lose their ability to remain in the US. On the other hand, numerous fresh H1-B candidates are getting job offers from the same business.
In reaction to the shrinking US tech sector, CEO Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, then known as Facebook, declared it the "year of efficiency" and laid off 21,000 people in a short period of time. In January, Google let go 12,000 workers, and Amazon let go about 27,000 workers over the course of two rounds of layoffs.
In January, Microsoft revealed an almost 5% global employment cut, or the loss of 10,000 employees. CEO Satya Nadella emphasised that the company would continue hiring in important critical areas despite the employment losses.