Telecom Job Reduction Plummet Means High Tech Employment Improvement

April 8, 2003 ( - A drop in planned telecommunications job cuts lead to a 45%-decrease in overall high-tech position reductions.

According to the latest quarterly report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cuts announced by high-tech firms in the first quarter plunged to 61,032 from the 110,247 in the same quarter a year ago. In the much-battered telecom sector, employers reported 15,862 job cuts so far in 2003, down 81% from the 82,522 in the first quarter of 2002.

The other segments of the technology sector (electronics, computers and e-commerce) all experienced increased job cuts, however.  Electronics firms have seen job reductions double to 26,270 from 13,062, a year ago.  Computer makers and e-commerce firms saw job cuts increase 29% and 28%, respectively.

Through the first three months of 2003, technology job decreases represented 17% of the 355,795 cuts announced by all industries.  This is in sharp contrast to the two previous years, in which technology accounted for 33% of the 1,466,823 job cuts announced in 2002 and 36% of the 1,956,876 cuts announced in 2001.