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Facebook-owner Meta has been consistently upbeat about the virtual metaverse, where the future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades (or a Meta virtual-reality headset).

The real world? That’s a different story.

Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has slashed plans to hire engineers by at least 30% this year as he warns employees that we’re on the precipice of a nasty economic downturn.

“If I had to bet, I’d say that this might be one of the worst downturns that we’ve seen in recent history,” he reportedly told workers. A recording of the Q&A session was obtained by Reuters.

Meta had been planning to hire as many as 10,000 new engineers as part of its ongoing efforts to spearhead development of a virtual playspace intended to serve as the next evolution of the internet.

Now, Zuckerberg says, the company will hire no more than 7,000 engineers this year. He also said a number of currently unfilled positions will remain vacant.

And in a decidedly tough-love move, Zuckerberg says he’s going to “turn up the heat” and try and weed out less-productive employees.

“Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here,” he told workers in what has to be a finalist for Least Inspiring Pep Talk Ever.

“Part of my hope by raising expectations and having more aggressive goals, and just kind of turning up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that self-selection is OK with me.”

Oh, and have a nice day!