Lyft is laying off 17 percent of its workforce due to the plunging demand for ride-hailing services during the pandemic.
The company is terminating about 982 jobs, Lyft said in an SEC filing on Wednesday, which was first spotted by The New York Times. To cut costs, the ride-hailing provider is also furloughing another 288 employees and reducing salaries for remaining staff, including company executives.
Last week, Lyft mentioned the company was facing economic troubles from COVID-19, which has forced cities across the US to issue lockdown orders. “The pandemic began to have a negative impact on business trends, including ride volumes, in mid-March, which has continued into April,” it said in a financial release.
In addition to its own employees, Lyft relies on a million drivers to operate its ride-hailing services in the US and Canada. Now many drivers say their incomes have dropped by 80 percent, according to Rideshare Drivers United. “Just a few days into the crisis, most of us are vulnerable to homelessness and unable to meet the most basic needs for ourselves and our families,” says a petition from the group demanding economic relief.
Aside from the SEC filing, Lyft has yet to publicly comment on today’s staffing cuts. We’ve reached out to Lyft to learn more about how the staffing reductions will impact the ride-hailing services, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.
On May 6, however, the company plans on updating investors with a plan on how it’ll address the pandemic going forward. Lyft previously had about 5,683 employees based in 100 offices. About 43 percent of its workforce was devoted to product management and software engineering.
The news arrives as Uber is also reportedly considering laying off about 20 percent of its workforce. Other tech companies, including restaurant review site Yelp and travel planning provider Tripadvisor have also had to cut staff, citing the economic impact from COVID-19.