Business

Looking for work? You might see more competition soon

Microsoft may announce a round of cuts affecting its sales force this week.
Microsoft may announce a round of cuts affecting its sales force this week. Associated Press file, 2014

The U.S. Census is hiring, as well as UPS for its new Tacoma warehouse and Amazon (at some point) for its new Sumner warehouse, but Microsoft is set to dial itself back.

Several reports noted a major sales reorganization for the Redmond-based company, with cuts that could be announced this week. It reportedly wants to consolidate efforts to focus on cloud software sales.

Early Monday afternoon, Bloomberg News reported that an emailed memo was sent to staff outlining steps to reorganize sales and marketing without any mention of job cuts.

Media attention is turning to this not only because of the possible number of people who might be cut eventually, but also because this usually is the time Microsoft turns to reorganizing plans as its fiscal year typically ends in July.

According to The Seattle Times, Microsoft at the end of March employed 45,500 in Washington state, with its total globally at about 121,500.

Last year the company announced cuts of 2,850 positions.

If the rumored cuts become reality, it’s another notable hit this year for the state in terms of major employers.

Boeing announced in June that hundreds of jobs in Boeing’s Shared Services Group were going to Mesa, Arizona. The company also is reducing its manufacturing workforce in the area along with hundreds of engineering employees.

The latest state notice about Boeing, issued Friday, showed 89 layoffs in the Puget Sound area to take effect by Aug. 25, after other notices of layoffs numbering in the triple digits.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported Thursday that Seattle-King County officials would receive more than $300,000 in a federal emergency grant for retraining workers cut from Boeing’s payroll.

All of this starts to make Tacoma’s recent local hiring news all the more attractive while vastly upping the competition for jobs, such as tech firm Infoblox’s planned expansion.

And, while an Amazon warehouse job is not quite on the same level as the jobs Microsoft or Boeing are shedding, remember that in one day in May, Tacoma saw about 250 people turn up for an Amazon hiring event.

Washington hit a record low for unemployment in May, at 4.5 percent. According to the state, the sectors that saw largest year-over-year gains (not seasonally adjusted) were construction, education and health services and retail.

The Seattle Times and News Tribune archives contributed to this report.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell

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