Apr 15, 2024 - News

What Tesla's cuts mean for Austin

Tesla vehicles outside an Austin showroom.

Tesla vehicles outside an Austin showroom. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Major Austin employer Tesla is cutting more than 10% of its workforce globally as it grapples with middling electric vehicle sales.

Why it matters: The company is the world's largest maker of premium EVs, but recently reported its lowest quarterly sales since 2022.

  • Tesla did not respond to Axios' interview request.
  • The company had about 140,000 employees at the end of last year, according to a public filing.

Zoom in: The car manufacturer employs 22,777 people in Austin, surpassing H-E-B, at about 19,000, as the city's largest private employer, per data from Opportunity Austin.

Driving the news: CEO Elon Musk told employees in an email that the move stemmed from a need to cut costs and bolster productivity, the Wall Street Journal reported.

  • "This will enable us to be lean, innovative and hungry for the next growth phase cycle," Musk said in the email, the WSJ reported.

Between the lines: A 10% cut of Tesla's Austin workforce would translate into about 2,300 direct jobs and about 5,000 jobs overall when multiplier effects are considered, Waco-based economist Ray Perryman tells Axios.

What they're saying: "Austin typically gains 40,000 or more net jobs every year, and that total always includes some layoffs mixed with other expansions and relocations," Perryman says.

  • "I would not expect a layoff of this magnitude to significantly alter the growth path of the region, but it will certainly be felt — particularly in a period when the area is dealing with challenges in the commercial real estate sector."
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