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July Tech Job Cuts Jump Up 168% from June

So much for the continued good news on the job cut front. According to the figures we just got from Challenger, Gray & Christmas for July, planned layoffs and cutbacks were up 31 percent from June, which isn't what you want to hear when looking forward to the eventual end of a recession. So how bad was it in the high tech industry, which we're taking to be the combination of the electronics, computers, and telecom sectors? Let's take a look.

Sector January February March April May June July
Electronics 11,050 11,065 11,500 6,608 1,423 4,103 1,343
Computer 22,330 3,960 5,290 1,70ddddd2 15,384 2,795 1,684
Telecom 13,056 5,666 250 262 812 802 17,601
Total 46,436 20,691 17,040 8,572 17,619 7,700 20,628
That's a 168 percent increase, unfortunately leaving the overall economy in the dust, and it's all due to telecom, as both electronics and computers saw decreases in announced job cuts. One big part of the leap in telecom was due to Verizon's July announcement of additional 8,000 layoffs:
The cuts, equivalent to 3.4 per cent of Verizon's workforce, come on top of a similar sized reduction in headcount over the past 12 months and showed, said Craig Moffett of Bernstein Research, that "no company is immune to the severity of the current downturn".
I don't know if Sprint's July announcement that it would outsource network operations to Ericcson and transfer 6,000 employees was part of the total.

Again, here's a graph of the trends:

Of course, given how many products use electronics, computers, and software, there are undoubtedly companies in other sectors that you might reasonably consider as actually part of high tech, so the industry layoff numbers are likely to be higher. More bad news: not only is the total number of job cuts reaching 1 million, but at the rate things are going, there's a good chance that 2009 will end up having seen more layoffs announced than 2008. The good news is that job cuts in the overall economy were lower in July 2009 than the same period last year. Don't expect announced hiring to fix things in tech any time soon, as only the electronics sector announced hiring plans: 50 positions, total.

Executioner image via stock.xchng user sateda, standard site license.

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