With Sun's job cuts, tech sector layoffs in '08 hit 140,000

The bulk of job losses at tech firms have occurred since July

The economic downturn that has resulted in tens of thousands of layoffs in the housing and financial services sectors is now bearing down on the tech industry. The job cuts announced by Sun Microsystems on Friday are only the latest in the growing toll.

Sun plans to cut as many 6,000 jobs, or about 18 percent of its workforce, a move that raises the total number of technology-related job cuts announced so far this year to more than 140,000, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement consulting firm that tracks layoff announcements by sector.

Most of the job cuts have taken place in the past few months, with nearly two-third of them, or 89,500, occurring since July.

At the current rate, Challenger is forecasting tech-sector job cuts totaling 180,000 by the end of the year.

The rapid increase in job losses follows an increasingly pessimistic spending forecast. Research firm IDC said this week that IT spending growth in the US will be less than 1 percent in 2009, a sharp drop from an August forecast that projected a 4.2 percent increase next year.

In 2007, the number of job-cut announcements in the tech sector totaled 107,300; in 2006, it was 131,200; and in 2005, it hit 174,744.

The worst year was 2001, the year the dot-com bubble burst, when nearly 700,000 tech jobs took place, according to Challenger.

Companies that announced layoffs this month include Applied Materials, which this week unveiled plans to reduce its global workforce by about 12 percent, or 1,800 workers. National Semiconductor, said it is cutting 330 jobs.

John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement that by the end of 2008, "we may also see cuts from Cisco Systems, Qualcomm and Nokia, all of whom are reporting falling sales amid the weakening economy."

One of the largest cuts announced so far this year came in September after the merger of Hewlett-Packard and Electronic Data Systems. HP said in September that it planned to cut as many as 25,000 employees as a result of the merger.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags financial crisisjob cuts

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Patrick Thibodeau

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?