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Startups have laid off almost 100,000 workers since the pandemic broke out

Startups have laid off almost 100,000 workers since the pandemic broke out

Job losses have been severe due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with workers from various sectors and industries adversely affected by the interruption to their working life caused by the pandemic.

According to the latest figures provided by Layoffs tracker, which tracks all tech startup layoffs since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic on March 3, 2020, almost 100,000 employees have been laid off.

In particular, 95,850 employees have been laid off from 629 startups, with the largest increase in the number of workers laid off occurring during the first few months of the epidemic, between March and May 2020. However, the total number of people laid off has continued to rise since then despite vaccine rollout.

Cumulative startup layoffs since COVID-19. Source:

Transportation leads the number of layoffs

Furthermore, it should be noted that the transportation sector leads the way as the startup with the highest number of layoffs since COVID-19, with 14,856 people laid off as of January 24, 2022.

Taking the second position with 13,983 layoffs is the travel industry, which is followed by financial startups, who took third place with 8,715 layoffs.

startup layoffs by industry since COVID-19. Source:

According to the number of layoffs among startups, Dutch travel business has experienced the most, having laid off 4,375  individuals, the equivalent of 25% of its workforce, since the outbreak.

On the other hand, when it comes to aggregate layoff, ride-sharing company Uber laid off the most employees, 6,700, with 3,000 and 3,700 employees laid off on two separate occasions by the startup in the transportation industry, accounting for a total of 27% of its staff in total.

Other notable companies such as Airbnb (NASDAQ: ABNB)  in the travel sector had 25% of its staff laid off as it saw 1,900 employees’ contracts terminated.

Biggest startup layoffs since COVID-19. Source:

All In all, the likelihood of someone transferring from a temporary layoff to a permanent layoff rose during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the probability remained low by historical norms as per data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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