The Great Resignation helped boost Microsoft’s profits

Linking up.
Linking up.
Image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
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Microsoft’s profits rose by 21% in the three months ending Dec. 31  thanks in part to record engagement and growing advertising demand on LinkedIn, its professional networking platform, where revenue grew 37% from the previous year.

“We are experiencing a ‘Great Reshuffle’ across the labor market, as more people in more places than ever rethink how, where, and why they work,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a conference call with analysts and investors yesterday.

The number of people hired for a job through the platform increased by 110% compared to the same period in 2021. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for over $26 billion in 2016, representing its biggest acquisition to date. That’s set to change if the company’s $70 billion purchase of gaming company Activision Blizzard is completed in the coming months.

LinkedIn sees strongest growth among Microsoft’s business products

Microsoft’s Productivity and Business segment, which includes software products like Office 365 and Dynamics as well as LinkedIn, brought in 19% more revenue last quarter compared to 2021. LinkedIn generated $3.5 billion, and its year-over-year revenue growth was the strongest of any Microsoft unit, even as the company pulled LinkedIn from China in October.

Microsoft said LinkedIn’s growth was driven by increased advertising demand, as well as an improving job market. The platform likely got a boost from a record number of job US openings, creating more potential opportunities for LinkedIn users in its biggest market. The platform has 810 million members globally today, compared to 690 million in 2020, and an estimated 49 million people use LinkedIn to search for jobs each week, compared to 40 million in October 2020.

The rise in LinkedIn engagement helped drive Microsoft’s total revenue to $45 billion for the quarter.