From now, will Google announce layoffs of another batch of workers before the end of 2023?
113
32k
resolved Aug 7
Resolved
YES

Note that the event in this article:

Alphabet cuts 12,000 jobs after pandemic hiring spree, refocuses on AI | Reuters

does NOT count. It has to be due to an announcement after that one and it has to be announced as a lay off. Ambiguous cases may be debated in the comments and resolved at my discretion.

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predicted YES

I made a poll on whether this should resolve to yes. Since so many people (include non participants of this market) seem to think this should, I've decided to do so.

predicted NO

@Cactus Where was the poll?

predicted NO

@Cactus It looks like the poll was just created a few hours ago and resolves 8/13. I think you should have waited to get more feedback before resolving.

Betting on yes because I already think this question should be resolved with the Assistant team news

predicted YES

Thanks for all your inputs. For now I have decided not to resolve this market. I think contractor layoffs are too common to qualify for a YES resolution.

predicted YES

@Cactus I don’t really understand why it matters how common they are? If anything it should be about whether or not they are layoffs or not. To determine they are layoffs but don’t count because they are “too common” is more confusing. But if they are very common why does that matter? If you were going for the narrow interpretation it should be explicit. If layoffs are more common for contractors wouldn’t it follow that the term “layoff” is then associated more commonly with contractors than full time employees?

predicted NO

I asked chatGPT 😀

Me:

There is a binary prediction market which asks "From now, will Google announce layoffs of another batch of workers before the end of 2023?"

There was a layoff of contractors (only 80) but it is not clear if the question should resolve affirmatively. Do contractors even considered to be a part of Google or instead they do represent an agency?

What do you think? Should the market resolve yes?

GPT-4:

I can't make decisions for the prediction market, but I can provide some information that might be relevant to the question.

Contractors are typically not considered full employees of the company they are working for, even if they are working on behalf of that company. In most cases, contractors are employed by a third-party agency, and their contracts can be terminated without it being classified as a layoff from the company they are contracting for.

In the context of the specific question, "will Google announce layoffs of another batch of workers before the end of 2023?", it would typically refer to Google's employees, not contractors. If the market or question didn't explicitly include contractors in its definition of "workers," it might be interpreted that the layoff of contractors doesn't satisfy the condition.

However, this is a nuanced issue and might depend on the specific rules and definitions of the prediction market in question. It would be wise to consult with the market's administrators or refer to its official rules for a definitive answer.

predicted YES

Why don’t my profits in this market seem to be factoring into the league profits? Maybe I am missing something? @ian

predicted NO

@BTE I think it's just a bug, they aren't consistently updating but I believe that final calculation should be correct (or at least more correct)

predicted NO

Contractors? Imho it doesn't count. Contractors never had good job security, they were laid off in similar way even in the best times.

It wouldn't make sense to create question like "would Google laid off some contractors this year" because it was happening every year I believe

predicted YES

@qumeric That’s not true. The only large tech company that applies to prior to this year is Amazon because of their fulfillment business. Even then Contractors should definitely count because they tried to unionize and that was the cause of the layoff. In my opinion.

predicted NO
predicted NO

@BTE Are contractors even considered to be a part of Google (for purpose of this question)? For example, another quora question answer says "you’ll never be considered the same status as Googlers. You might eat with them, work with them, converse with them, but in the end you don’t work for Google, you work for an agency that has a relationship with Google". https://www.quora.com/Is-being-a-TVC-at-Google-worth-the-time-even-for-a-year

From my perspective, "YES" resolution doesn't follow the spirit of the question but *maybe* follows the letter of it.

predicted YES

I don't think I will count those just yet, unless someone can provide a credible source that google announced these "as lay offs" as I described. The bard article says the email they obtained said "eliminating a small number of roles" but note that I wrote that Google has to announce it "as a lay off".

predicted YES

@Cactus although, I looked back at the Jan 20 email and found no reference to lay offs. What do you guys think? Should this resolve YES?

predicted YES

@Cactus I think it clearly can resolve YES without controversy. But it’s totally your call.

predicted NO

@BTE I do not find "YES" resolution to be completely unreasonable but it is actually controversial 😀

@Cactus "TVCs make up 54% of Google’s global workforce, and more than half of the people on the personality team, according to the letter. The TVCs on the personality team sit alongside Google FTEs in offices around the world"

it's obvious google is using contractors as a tenuously legal scheme to flout labor laws that would protect those under their employ from unfair treatment, such as arbitrarily shortening their contracts in response to their efforts to secure labor protections. this type of layoff is even more reprehensible than a layoff in which workers are provided legal protections and recourse, and should be considered more than sufficient to resolve the spirit of this market to YES

@Cactus Employers essentially never use terms like "layoff" of their own volition unless they are forced to by legal authorities, but instead use euphemisms like "downsizing" or "adjusting our workforce". It is generally journalists who take the step of describing their actions in simpler terms like "fired a bunch of people".

It has to be due to an announcement after that one and it has to be announced as a lay off.

As you noted yourself, the original announcement would not qualify by this criteria, unless we assume the announcement describing it as a layoff can come from journalists.

I think this can resolve YES based on the June layoffs which were announced as such.