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SpaceX job openings have dropped 63% in just 3 weeks

8 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in News, Trends

Earlier this month, SpaceX ($SPACEX) changed the lives of hundreds of aerospace professionals when it announced it would lay off 10% of its workforce at its Hawthorne, California headquarters. The silver lining, at the time, was that hiring at the company's Redmond, Washington plant was up, signaling better things to come for Elon Musk's space exploration company.

But since those announcements, job listings data reveals that hiring at SpaceX overall has plummeted by 63% since January 7, 2019. That's a drop of 391 job openings to just 143 in three weeks.

The majority of the slowdown is — not surprisingly — at the company's Hawthorne, CA facility where the bulk of the company's layoffs occured. However, hiring at other facilities — Redmond included, this time — are down across the board, aside from a singular new remote position in Portland, Oregon.

Location

January 7

January 26

Hawthorne, CA, United States

278

90

Redmond, WA, United States

40

34

Cape Canaveral, FL, United States

38

10

McGregor, TX, United States

18

4

Vandenberg, CA, United States

6

2

Palo Alto, CA, United States

3

0

Irvine, California, United States

3

0

Washington, DC, United States

1

0

Brownsville, TX, United States

1

1

Remote - San Francisco, CA, United States

1

1

Remote - Boston, MA, United States

1

0

Remote - Los Angeles, CA, United States

1

0

Remote - Portland, OR, United States

0

1

This isn't necessarily the sign of bad things for SpaceX. The company just announced possible launch dates for its next Falcon Heavy flight, for instance.

The hiring slowdown comes in the shadow of the U.S. government shutdown, which made the Federal Communication Commission flight licenses SpaceX needed even harder to get as soon as possible. It's unclear if the shutdown is directly related to the hiring slowdown, as the layoffs announcements did not cite it as a cause.

Rather, the layoffs and subsequent hiring slowdown came in the midst of a funding round that saw the sale of $273 million worth of SpaceX shares to eight investors. The round, worth $500 million, put SpaceX's value at $30 billion. It's not terribly uncommon to see a company reduce human capital overhead during funding periods as times of transition.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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