Tech industry layoffs on the rise

July 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM
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CHICAGO, July 16 (UPI) -- Job cut announcements made by U.S. technology companies rose to the highest level in three years in January through June, a private research firm said Monday.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas said technology companies announced 51,529 job cuts January through June of 2012, up 260 percent from the first half of 2011, when layoff announcements from technology companies stood at 14,308.

The difference is easy to pinpoint. One company, computer giant Hewlett-Packard announced in the first quarter of the year that it planned to layoff 30,000 workers.

That still leaves an increase in layoffs for the first half of 2012 for the sector -- 21,529 in 2012 versus 14,308 in the first half of 2011.

Hewlett-Packard tipped the scales so severely that its announcement came to more than twice the number of layoffs announced by computer companies in all of 2011, which came to 14,677.

Announced layoffs also jumped in the first half of the year among telecommunications companies, which announced 13,059 job cuts in the first half of the year, compared to 6,813 in the first half of 2011.

For electronics companies, layoffs have been flat this year, compared to the previous year.

"Announced in March, the decision by Hewlett-Packard to shed 30,000 jobs from its payrolls this year was driven primarily by the firm's loss of competitiveness across several of its business areas.  Many point to its inability to compete with Apple on the tablet front, while failing to keep up with IBM and Accenture on the consulting side," said Chief Executive Officer John Challenger.

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