Why Layoff Headlines Can Be Misleading

Learn why headlines alone don't capture the full impact of layoffs. Discover how Livesight's Early Layoff Indicator provides comprehensive, accurate layoff data for better risk management.
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3 min read
Livesight Team
“Meta Lays Off More Than 11,000 Employees” - New York Times
“Twitter’s mass layoffs have begun” - Tech Crunch
“Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees” - CNBC

Relying on headlines to understand layoffs and their impact on the economy and job market can often lead to a shallow and sometimes deceptive understanding of the situation. Headlines can grab your attention, but they rarely provide the full picture. With crucial details often left out, it's time to look to a more reliable source for layoff data.

What Headlines Don't Tell You About Layoffs

When layoffs make headlines, the news often focuses on a single total number of jobs lost and the company involved, but crucial details are frequently missing. The articles don't reveal the split between US and international workers, nor do they specify which regions and offices are affected. Moreover, the exact timing of the layoffs, which can occur over a rolling period of time, is often omitted. As a result, it's challenging to gauge the true impact of these events.

A Real-Life Example: Meta's Layoffs

On November 9th, 2022, Meta announced that it would be laying off 11,000 employees. Articles reporting this news didn't mention the locations of the affected employees or the exact timing of the layoffs. You might have assumed that the effect on the US labor market was greater than it actually was and you would’ve been totally clueless about how different regions of the US were affected.

In reality, Meta's layoffs were worldwide affecting the United Kingdom, continental Europe (paragraph 12), India, South Korea, and other countries. In United States, WARN notices filed by Meta showed the following as reported by local news:

However, this kind of comprehensive news coverage is not commonly applied to the majority of mass layoff events, and such details are often not readily available, especially in the headlines.

The Hidden Ripple Effect

Another important aspect to note is that cutbacks at giant companies often have a domino effect on other commercially connected companies. For example, Meta's layoffs also impacted companies they directly or indirectly partnered with, such as Flagship Facility Services, Astreya Partners, ABM Industries, and Milestone Technologies, which is unaccounted for in the headlines. This ripple effect is yet another reason to seek more accurate and comprehensive data.

Leverage Livesight's Early Layoff Indicator Data

Whether you want to understand the impact of layoffs on individual businesses (e.g., as an SMB lender or an equity investor) or on the economy as a whole (e.g., a macro strategist), having access to highly accurate and up-to-date layoff data is essential. The collection of WARN databases is currently the most comprehensive source of mass layoff data.

However, WARN data is notoriously difficult to collect, as each state has its own format and update frequency. Livesight's Early Layoff Indicator offers detailed and comprehensive US layoff insights powered by WARN data at the business location level, enriched with complementary insights such as financials, job openings, stock tickers, and much more using our proprietary BusinessMatch product.

Don't rely on headlines to guide your strategy – contact the Livesight team and equip your risk mitigation strategies with the most granular, complete, and accurate business layoff data on the market.

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