Tech Job Cuts Down For '02 But Up Q4

January 10, 2003 ( -Planned job cuts in the high-tech sector reached 468,161 in 2002, down 33% from the 695,581 job cuts announced in 2001.

However, the fourth quarter was not as good to the sector, as job cuts surged 46% in the fourth quarter to 133,511, the highest quarterly figure of the year.   This is especially surprising after job cuts fell to 91,450  in the third quarter , according to data released by international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Telecommunications struggled the most in 2002, announcing 268,857 planned job cuts, 57% of all high tech job cuts.  While more job cuts were announced in this sector 2001 (317,777), this total only represented 46% of all high-tech cuts.

Challenger said telecommunications and the other high-tech industries would probably continue having troubles in 2003, which does not bode well for the workers who have managed to keep their jobs.  The biggest problem the sector is facing is the lack of new technology spending on the part of businesses, citing survey results of members of the Business Roundtable, comprised of 150 chief executive officers, tech spending and capital spending are not expected to rebound in the new year, as 80% said they would hold the line or reduce capital spending in 2003.

This would most certainly stunt job creation, said Challenger. The same survey found that 60% of the CEOs expect their companies to eliminate jobs in 2003, so it is far to early to forecast a turnaround in the job market.