A growing pile of pink slips at the Googleplex suggests boom time for the search giant may be coming to a close.
In Q3, Google managed to quell concerns that the flailing economy would negatively affect profits. But it has responded to clients' newfound spend-thriftiness with increasingly drastic measures: getting rid of evening meal perks for most employees, increasing on-campus day care costs and curbing its appetite for new hires and acquisitions, said CEO Eric Schmidt. Over the past couple of months, it also unveiled new ad opportunities for both Google-branded sites and YouTube.
But now as many as 10,000 jobs may be "on the chopping block," according to a WebGuild report, citing sources close to the company. 500 employees laid off since August were apparently only contracted recruiters, but they — in addition to other cut laborers classified as "workers" — weren't officially reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
WebGuild claims only two-thirds of Google's 30,000-strong workforce are on record with the SEC; others fall under the label of "temporary operational expenses."
Since Google does not have to treat the latter as full-time employees, it saves on health benefits, insurance coverage and stock options. It also does not have to provide long-term employment. However, many people in this classification have been at the company for five or more years.