Biotech and tech job cuts widen in Bay Area as companies chop workers

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Employers have decided to eliminate hundreds of biotech and tech jobs in the East Bay with layoffs at companies in Emeryville and Newark, a fresh round of unsettling job cuts during uncertain economic times.

An estimated 254 jobs are being cut by the end of this year in the East Bay, according to official filings with the state Employment Development Department.

Zymergen intends to eliminate 110 jobs at its main office in Emeryville, the WARN notice to the EDD stated. The Zymergen job cuts are slated to take place around Dec. 19.

Astreya, which provides technology and software services under a contract with Facebook app owner Meta Platforms, has decided to chop 144 positions in Newark. The Astreya employment reductions are scheduled for Nov. 18, the WARN notice stated.

The great majority of the positions affected by the Astreya Partners job cuts are in a category listed as inventory technician.

“Astreya Partners will conduct a mass layoff of its employees assigned to perform services at the Meta Platforms facility located at 7300 Gateway Blvd. in Newark,” Michelle Richard, Astreya vice president of global human resources, stated in the WARN filing to the EDD.

Meta Platforms occupies a warehouse complex at the Newark location.

The job cuts at Zymergen are the latest in a string of staffing reductions at the company, which uses advanced software and artificial intelligence to help it discover and design drugs to combat cancer.

In 2021, Zymergen eliminated 188 jobs, according to a review of the company’s filings with the EDD.

So far this year, Zymergen has disclosed plans to chop another 264 jobs, including the latest round of layoffs that total 110 positions slated for mid-December. The two prior rounds of reductions took place on Sept. 26 and Oct. 24, the WARN notices showed.

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“The planned action, when finalized, will be permanent,” Zymergen said in the WARN letter regarding the layoffs scheduled for December.

Employees in the commercial, corporate, operations, drug discovery, finance, technology, human resources, legal and research departments in Emeryville were expected to be affected, Zymergen said.

“No one will have the right to bump or displace other employees, and there is no union representing the affected employees,” Mary Sujo, Zymergen’s vice president of people operations, stated in the WARN filing.

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