Technology company Google on Friday said it will cut about 12,000 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce.

Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said that affected employees in the United States have already been notified.

“This will mean saying goodbye to some incredibly talented people we worked hard to hire and have loved working with,” Pichai said. “The fact that these changes will impact the lives of Googlers weighs heavily on me, and I take full responsibility for the decisions that led us here.”

With Friday’s announcement, Google became one of the several other big technology companies that have also slashed their workforce in the last few months amid fears of a global recession.

Pichai said Google has a substantial opportunity with artificial intelligence, owing to which it had to make tough choices.

“We have undertaken a rigorous review across product areas and functions to ensure that our people and roles are aligned with our highest priorities as a company,” the chief executive officer wrote. “The roles we are eliminating reflect the outcome of that review.”

He added that employees affected by the layoffs will be paid 16 weeks of severance and six months worth of health benefits in the United States, while in other regions it will be based on local laws and practices.

Layoffs in other technology firms

On January 18, Microsoft said that it plans to cut 10,000 jobs, or 5% of its workforce, by the end of March. Prior to this, e-commerce company Amazon and social media companies Twitter and Meta had also announced layoffs.

The layoffs come amidst an increase in global unemployment as projected by a report released by the International Labour Organization on Monday. The United Nations agency predicted that global unemployment will increase by 30 lakh to 20.8 crore in 2023, pushing the joblessness rate to 5.8%.

The decrease in the employment rate has been attributed to several factors like Covid-19, inflation, the rising cost of living and the geopolitical crises in Ukraine.