Third-Quarter Tech Sector Job Cuts Plummet

October 3, 2002 ( - After a long and dark year, the technology sector may finally be getting its sea legs again.

An international outplacement firm reported a whopping 31% drop in tech job cuts in the third quarter that was driven in part by a significant improvement among telecommunications firms.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. said announced job cuts in the technology sector were 91,450 compared to the April to June quarter’s 132,953 figure.  See  Planned Job Cut Figure Plummets in September .

The tech sector includes telecommunications, electronics, computers, and e-commerce companies .

Third quarter 2003 was 57% lower than the 213,420 tech job cuts announced in the third quarter of 2001 and represented the lowest quarterly figure since the fourth quarter of the year 2000.

Through September, the 334,650 high tech job cuts are 36% lower than the nine-month total from a year ago (526,809).  

Surprisingly, the biggest declines in technology job cuts came in the telecommunications sector, which saw announced job cuts fall 52% from 83,318 in the second quarter to 39,717 in the third quarter.  There were just 6,956 telecom job cuts in September, which is the lowest monthly figure for this segment since November 2000 (2,358).

Third-quarter telecom cuts were also lower by 58% than the same quarter a year ago, when these cuts reached 94,789.

The one area among the high-tech industries that saw an increase in job cuts was the electronics industry, which jumped 175% from 7,159 in the second quarter to 19,716 in the third quarter.