(Bloomberg Opinion | Conor Sen) — After the 2008 recession, large, established corporate employers fell out of fashion. Their fusty cultures were behind the times, and they seemed stuck in a cycle of perpetual layoffs and restructurings. Tech startups were the place to be for new generations of workers. Their foosball tables, bean-bag chairs and modern values catered to youthful sensibilities and priorities.
In 2022, the pendulum is swinging back as the overall job market remains strong, but the outlook for startups becomes shakier. There’s never been a better time to go work for a big company.
If your career revolves around the startup scene, it’s understandable that you might be pessimistic about the state of the economy. After a decade-long boom, most tech-related startups that went public in the past two years now have stocks trading below their listing price. Silicon Valley investors expect this to hurt the ability of startups — particularly unprofitable ones — to raise cash, so they are telling companies to prepare for a downturn. There were more than 15,000 tech layoffs announced in May.
We’re not seeing the same weakness in the broader labor market; it’s actually hard to see any signs of weakness at all. The US economy added 390,000 jobs in May, buoyed by strength in industrial sectors, white collar jobs and an improvement in government hiring. The retail industry shed 60,000 jobs, perhaps due to some of the well-publicized inventory issues