Technology firms downsizing to keep up with trends

July 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM
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CHICAGO, July 16 (UPI) -- Announced job cuts among U.S. technology firms more than doubled in the second quarter compared to the first, a private outplacement firm said Tuesday.

The employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said 20,491 job cuts were announced by technology companies April through June, 144 percent more than the 8,392 announced January through March.

The second quarter total is still lower than the same months of 2012, when U.S. technology firms announced 39,164 job cuts.

The increased layoffs at computer company set the pace, climbing 365 percent from the first quarter's 3,526 announced layoffs to the second quarter's 16,404 announced job cuts.

Layoffs announced by electronics firms rose 68 percent to 2,344, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

Chief Executive Officer John Challenger said the layoffs appear to be prompted more by changes in technology and consumer demand than by an economic slowdown.

"The uptick in tech job cuts we saw in the first half of the year appeared to be due primarily to shifting trends in the computer and information technology industries, which are making it necessary for companies to alter business strategies, streamline operations and restructure their organizations," Challenger said.

"Technology firms have become particularly adept and nimble when it comes to adjusting to emerging trends," he said.

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