YTD Tech Job Cuts Plummet in Q3

October 6, 2003 ( - Third-quarter job cuts in the technology sector rose over the second quarter of 2003, but year-to-date 2003 totals represented a dramatic decline from a year ago.

According to the latest data fromoutplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., there were 47,998 announced tech sector job cuts in the July to September period bringing the 2003 year-to-date total to 145,997.That is 56% fewer than the 334,650 technology job reductions announced between January and September 2002, according to Challenger.

The third-quarter data came in about 9,000 more than the 36,967 job cuts announced in the second quarter by technology firms, which includes telecommunications, electronics, computer and e-commerce.  

Most of the third-quarter increase came in the telecommunications sector, where job cuts surged 73% from a six-month total of 36,025 to a nine-month total of 62,389.

Even with the slight increase, job cuts in the high-tech sector account for just 17% of the 872,080 job cuts announced in all industries so far this year.  That is well below the pace of technology job cutting in 2002, when one in three job reductions announced in the first nine months came from the sector.