John Paczkowski

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Tech Sector to Release 180,000 Workers Into Wild: The Challenger Release in Its Entirety

Stupefying.

The year-end total for tech sector job losses in 2008 is expected to reach 180,000, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s the largest annual job loss for the sector since 2003, when tech firms sacked some 228,325 employees.

Not at all hard to believe given the news these days. Job cuts through Oct. 31 total 140,422, according to Challenger’s calculations.

That is 31 percent more than the 107,295 cuts announced in all of 2007.

Looks like the tech sector is shooting for a full percentage point increase in unemployment this year.

“In addition to Sun Microsystems’ announcement, Applied Materials and National Semiconductor have announced job cuts in November,” says John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray and Christmas. “By the end of the year, we may also see cuts from Cisco Systems, Qualcomm and Nokia, all of whom are reporting falling sales amid the weakening economy.”

Wonderful. Something to look forward to…sigh….

Challenger’s release in full, after the jump.

Tech Sector Cuts To Reach Highest Level Since 2005
MORE THAN 140,000 TECHNOLOGY CUTS SO FAR

CHICAGO – After a quiet first half of the year, job cuts in the technology sector surged in the third quarter and are on track to reach the highest year-end total since 2003. The latest evidence that the economic downturn has reached the tech sector came this morning with the report that Sun Microsystems will be eliminating 5,000 to 6,000 jobs in a broad restructuring.

Through October 31, job cuts by firms in the telecommunications, electronics and computer industries total 140,422, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., which tracks job-cut announcements daily. That is 31 percent more than the 107,295 tech-sector job cuts announced in all of 2007.

Nearly two-thirds of these job cuts (89,433) have occurred since July. The 69,654 tech-sector job cuts announced in the third quarter were 37 percent more than the 50,989 job cuts announced by technology firms in the entire first half of 2008. The third-quarter total was, in fact, the largest quarterly figure since the fourth quarter of 2003, when technology cuts numbered 82,328.

Computer, electronics and telecommunications firms have already announced 19,779 cuts since the beginning of the fourth quarter. Job cuts in the technology sector are now averaging 22,358 per month in the second half of year, up from a monthly average of 8,498 in the first half. At the current
pace, the year-end total could reach 180,000, which would be the largest annual total since 2003, when technology firms announced 228,325 job cuts.

“In addition to Sun Microsystems’ announcement, Applied Materials and National Semiconductor have announced job cuts in November. By the end of the year, we may also see cuts from Cisco Systems, Qualcomm and Nokia, all of whom are reporting falling sales amid the weakening economy,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“The tech sector is simply the latest victim in this downturn that began last year with the collapse of the housing market, and quickly spread to the financial markets. Since then, the impact has rippled throughout the economy and job cuts have surged in several industries, including retail, transportation, media, entertainment and leisure, automotive and even health care. Businesses and consumers have slashed their spending and no industry is immune,” he added.

[Image credit: Someecards]


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