Tesla bucked the trend among tech companies when it comes to the number of jobs created in 2022.
While tech giants like Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Twitter laid off tens of thousands of employees last year to save money in the face of a coming recession – and some will continue to do so – Tesla on its own has added almost 29,000 new employees in 2022, a 22-percent increase over the previous year.
In fairness, Tesla did lay off employees last year, but the people affected were mostly holding unnecessary full-time corporate and remote positions. While Tesla said it would slash its salaried headcount by as much as 10 percent, it also mentioned plans to increase the number of hourly employees in manufacturing.
In an email to employees last year, CEO Elon Musk said 10 percent of salaried positions would be eliminated, noting that the reduction did not apply to "anyone building cars, battery packs, or installing solar." Musk also promised that hourly headcount would increase.
He later said that there would be a 3-3.5 percent total reduction in headcount, not 10 percent. As it turns out, Tesla hired way more people last year than it let go.
Gallery: Tesla Giga Texas (Tesla Gigafactory 5)
In a 10-K SEC form released this morning and picked up by Teslarati, Tesla said it finished 2022 with a full-time headcount of 127,855 employees globally, an increase of 28,565 employees over the previous year.
"Our greatest asset is our people and we continue to attract the best and brightest with our competitive pay and benefits package which starts with ownership. We offer employees the opportunity to receive equity during their employment and share in the success of Tesla. 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. The spectacular increases in the number of employees reflect Tesla's growing activities in the automotive and energy sectors.
Manufacturing is Tesla's main activity, and the company is constantly adding new workers to keep up with increased vehicle production rates. The automaker delivered 1.3 million vehicles last year and expects to hand over at least 1.8 million in 2023, which means that Tesla needs to continue to ramp production to reach this goal.
More employees will obviously be needed to sustain the increased output. Tesla's Gigafactories are its largest employers, with Giga Texas expected to contribute the most to headcount growth in the coming years. Musk previously hinted that as many as 20,000 people could eventually be employed at the Austin plant, which also houses Tesla's global headquarters.