Money Matters - Simplified

Consultant: Tech layoffs slow 70 percent

Chicago -- U.S. high-tech companies are still announcing employee layoffs, but at a rate 70 percent less than a year ago, an outplacement firm said Wednesday.

Computer, electronics and telecommunications employers announced 35,375 job cuts from January to June, down 70 percent from last year's 118,108, the highest six-month total in seven years, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said.

Announced layoffs fell 52 percent to 56,521 the second half of last year, making this year's six-month 37 percent less than that second-half total, the firm said.

The biggest slowdown in announced technology job cuts occurred in electronics firms, which saw announced job cuts drop 95 percent to 2,406 so far this year from 45,799 in the first half of 2009.

Planned downsizing among computer firms fell 67 percent to 16,964 job cuts from 51,461 a year earlier.

Telecommunications firms announced 16,005 job cuts the first half of the year, 23 percent fewer than the 20,848 cuts announced at the same point in 2009, Challenger, Gray said.

Technology firms announced plans to hire 13,138 workers the first half of the year, up from 11,534 the same period last year.

The Challenger, Gray report is an anecdotal, non-statistical tally of job-cut and hiring announcements reported by the major news media. It reflects announcements, not actual layoffs or hiring, the firm said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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