Project Manager at computer examining code and working on project

Over the past few months, some of the biggest companies in tech have slashed thousands of jobs. After years of aggressive hiring and spending, managers at these firms are suddenly more interested in cutting costs and keeping teams as small as possible.

But even as these companies adjust their budgets and strategies, they’re still paying top dollar for talent—even for entry-level software engineers. According to, which crowdsources compensation data, the recent layoffs haven’t (yet) dampened six-figure payouts at Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon. Take a look at the chart:

Granted, the layoffs at these companies are still fresh, and it can take time for the full impact of cost-cutting to be felt throughout an organization. But these high salaries also speak to a fundamental truth in the tech industry: companies are in constant competition for talent, inevitably boosting the compensation for those with the right mix of skills and experience.

Despite the recent spate of layoffs, the overall tech unemployment rate remains low, dipping to 1.5 percent in January (according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Moreover, tech professionals seem to have little urge to leave the tech industry: recent data from LinkedIn suggested that technology, information, and media workers “have become averse to leaving their field over the last few quarters,” with the so-called “exodus rate” dropping from 67.4 percent in June 2022 to 60 percent at the beginning of this year. 

For companies on the hunt for talent, that dichotomy is a tricky one: there’s lots of tech talent that seems intent on sticking around, but the vast majority of tech professionals are employed—and likely not willing to jump to a new position unless the offer is pretty sweet. Even with budget cutbacks, the biggest tech companies can still afford to pay out significant compensation to hire and retain tech pros, but smaller firms may wrestle with securing the tech help they need.

Of course, tech professionals want more than just money. Survey after survey indicates that work-life balance and flexible schedules are extremely important to many of those working in tech; companies without the talent budget to compete against the Googles and Microsofts of the world can potentially win over tech professionals via superior benefits and a winning company culture.


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