Ten Thousand Googlers to Go? I Doubt It!

By  |  Monday, November 24, 2008 at 7:28 pm

googlelayoffsWeb Guild has an item about Google possibly shedding some of its reported 10,000 contract employees that has spawned stories with alarming titles like “Google Layoffs: 10,000 Jobs Being Cut, Report Claims.”

I believe that Google may get rid of some of its contractors–which is no leap of faith on my part, since cofounder Sergey Brin has said it wants to thin the contracting herds. But I’d be stunned if 10,000 heads were to roll. That’s apparently all of Google’s contractors, and a third of its staff, period. And the Web Guild story, while squishy, never says that 10,000 jobs will go away. It just that “up to 10,000 jobs could be on the chopping block according to sources.”

I’ve seen no news out of Google to suggest that it’s facing dire financial straits that would cause it to think by a third. Actually, the company seems almost as exuberantly self-indulgent and experimental as ever, except for the occasional nod to realism such as its recent shutdown of the Lively virtual world. The company may well face financial hobgoblins that force it to significantly downsize someday–nearly every large company does at one point or another–but there’s little reason to think that a major moment of truth is nigh.

So I’m guessing that some number of Google contractors will say goodbye in the coming months…as Brin said, that’s a lotta temporary employees to keep on the books…but that it’ll be nowhere near that 10K figure. And who knows? Google may even get rid of some of those contractors by turning them into permanent employees.

Opposing viewpoints welcome…

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  1. william Says:

    Like you say, it is hardly surprising that some number of contractors will be let go. That is a pretty typical response to an economic downturn. I did find it surprising that about 1/3 of Google’s work force is contractors rather than permanent employees.