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Tesla employee headcount balloons in 2022, countering tech sector layoffs

(Photo: Tesla)

Tesla’s employee headcount grew by 23 percent in 2022, while other tech companies eliminated positions due to economic conditions.

In 2022, layoffs hit the tech sector hard, as companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook/Meta, and others eliminated employees to save money with the threat of a recession looming.

Tesla was one of those companies, but its headcount was reduced by removing unnecessary full-time corporate positions and some remote workers. Many media outlets reported that Tesla would slash its employee headcount by as much as 10 percent, but the automaker had plans to increase its hourly employees in manufacturing.

CEO Elon Musk said in an email to employees last year that 10 percent of salaried positions would be eliminated “as we have become overstaffed in many areas.”

Musk added that the reduction “does not apply to anyone building cars, battery packs, or installing solar. Hourly headcount will increase.” However, some employees were let go due to the cuts, leaving Tesla in hot water.

Elon Musk says Tesla will reduce salaried headcount by 10%, while increasing hourly employees

Tesla shed more detail on its employee headcount in 2022 through its 10-K filed with the SEC, which was released this morning.

The automaker finished 2022 with a full-time headcount of 127,855 employees globally, an increase of 28,565 employees:

“As of December 31, 2022, our full-time count for our and our subsidiaries’ employees worldwide was 127,855, a 29,000 year-over-year increase.”

At the end of 2021, Tesla said it had 99,290 employees, up from 70,757 in 2020.

Tesla has routinely increased its number of employees to keep up with its growing impact on the automotive and energy sectors.

Manufacturing is arguably the most important piece of Tesla’s daily tasks, and the company is constantly hiring new employees to keep up with increased vehicle production rates.

After delivering 1.3 million vehicles last year, Tesla has its sights set on figures of at least 1.8 million in 2023, with Musk recently indicating that potential volume is near 2 million cars. It is imperative that Tesla continue to ramp manufacturing to reach these goals, and more employees will need to contribute to the effort as production ramps at facilities like Gigafactory Texas.

Tesla’s largest employers are its Gigafactory facilities, and Gigafactory Texas could be the largest contributor to headcount growth over the coming years. The factory is still in the process of expanding, and Musk has hinted that as many as 20,000 people could eventually work at the Austin plant.

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Tesla employee headcount balloons in 2022, countering tech sector layoffs
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