Microsoft Announces More Layoffs as October Tech Job Cuts Take Huge Leap

Last Updated Nov 6, 2009 11:16 AM EST

The monthly Challenger, Gray & Christmas numbers on announced job cuts are in. Although in general cuts dropped by 16 percent, high tech fared far worse as Microsoft plans additional layoffs past the 5,000 anticipated earlier this year. Announced October reductions were up more than ten-fold from September and the tech sector numbers were a full third of the month's total. And all of that is in the face of the highest US unemployment numbers in 26 years. Here's a summary of the months so far:
Sector January February March April May June July August September October
Electronics 11,050 11,065 11,500 6,608 1,423 4,103 1,343 1,562 683 10,882
Computer 22,330 3,960 5,290 1,702 15,384 2,795 1,684 75 494 7,089
Telecom 13,056 5,666 250 262 812 802 17,601 749 617 226
Total 46,436 20,691 17,040 8,572 17,619 7,700 20,628 2,386 1,794 18,197
Although things seemed to be improving for the sector in September, October had a big hit. Here's a graph of the trends:

Clearly the tech sector isn't out of the woods, and so pronouncements like those of Cisco CEO John Chambers that there are signs of a recovery must be taken with a shaker of salt.

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

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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.