Should my market resolve to YES?
resolved Aug 7
Yes, now
No, at least not yet

From now, will Google announce layoffs of another batch of workers before the end of 2023? | Manifold

There has been some debate about whether announced layoffs of contractors qualifies under the vague description that I left. Should this market resolve to YES based on that news?

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As someone who has had contractor employment several times, there are basically two major kinds of contract employment, in my experience:

  • Ones which focus on piece work, "gigs" you might say, that are paid primarily based on completion of that work. Notably, there will be a "set your own hours" quality to this. Your contract may have a duration, but completing it before it actually elapses is common.

  • Ones which demand regular labor hours until it elapses. You show up at a certain time and you put in regular work. You are in all respects just an employee with a differently-colored badge. Your contract may have an expected duration, and there is hypothetically a clause that allows termination before that duration elapses, but this is not meaningfully different from being a "regular" employee in an at-will employment state.

There is a nonzero grey area here between these two, like what comes up with e.g. Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and DoorDash, where it's "piece work" but you basically have to put in fairly regular shifts in order to make any money and they may even financially back your equipment purchases, like an employer might. However, there are many jobs which are clearly on one side or the other.

If you believe the contracts terminated are of the latter form and that Engadget is not lying when they say it's a layoff, then resolve YES, because they are just employment contracts with a few shell-games attached. No one working at that jobsite, except for the most gullible people, believe otherwise. Indeed, a fairly common incentive dangled in front of the latter is an extension of their contract beyond its current predefined end, and it's also common for the expiry durations to be so far out as to be essentially indefinite.