Tech Jobs Cuts Surge Higher in Q4

January 12, 2004 ( - At 82,328, the fourth quarter was the worst period for job cuts in the technology sector in 2003.

The fourth quarter’s numbers were up a staggering47,998 from the previous quarter (See YTD Tech Job Cuts Plummet in Q3 ), led by the telecommunications industry, which accounted for 60% of all the quarter’s job losses. For the year, there were 228,325 technology job cuts, a ccording to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

With the sudden surge,the last quarter of 2003 was the largest high-tech job-cut period of the year, surpassing the first quarter (61,032) by 35%.

Annual high-tech job cuts declined 51% in 2003 from the previous year’s numbers. The 228,325 high-tech cuts in 2003 represent 18.5% of the 1,236,426 job cuts announced by all industries during the year and accounted for one-third of all job cuts (1,466,823) in 2002.

As was the case during the last three months, most of the job cuts in technology for 2003 were in the telecommunications sector, 111,342. This number, though, is down from the 268,857 job cuts in telecomm in 2002.

The second-ranked computer industry saw 62,289 job cuts, one third or 20,685 of which were announced in the last three months of 2003. Rounding out the 2003 technology cut list were 51,901 jobs slashed in electronics and 2,793 in e-commerce.