Another 50,000 Tech Jobs Slated for Elimination

By Kathleen A. Martin  |  Print this article Print


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Since October, technology vendors have slashed more than 150,000 positions. Weak earnings and declining future prospects signal more job losses to come.

A series of disappointing earnings releases last week drove the number of technology layoffs to new highs, as the Channel Insider Layoff tracker climbed to nearly 154,000 jobs lost or slated for elimination since October 2008.

The rumors of Microsoft’s massive layoffs were put to rest when the company announced its first forced reduction in its 35-year history. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) plans to cut around 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months, beginning with 1,400 immediate layoffs. The world’s largest software company said the staff reduction would mostly target redundant positions throughout its 90,000-plus work force.

"We may eliminate up to 5,000 jobs, but we'll also be adding several thousand employees, [so] I expect to be down a net of 2,000 to 3,000," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Under recessionary pressures, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) announced the closing of two assembly and test facilities, one in Penang, Malaysia, and another in Cavite, Philippines. In addition, the world’s largest semiconductor company plans to stop production at two production plants located in Hillsboro, Ore., and Santa Clara, Calif.

Intel’s changes will affect between 5,000 and 6,000 employees worldwide. Intel is working with the employees to place as many as possible at other locations.

Intel will gradually close the facilities between now and the end of 2009, it said. A company spokesperson stated the closures are designed to "align its manufacturing capacity to current market conditions."

AMD (NYSE: AMD), Intel’s leading competitor, announced "targeted restructuring actions" that, with normal attrition, result in the elimination of 900 jobs. The company had already announced a layoff in November that affected 500 employees. AMD recently won regulatory approval to split the company in two: one company for research, development and sales, and the second company for manufacturing.

The biggest jump in January layoffs came when electronics retailer Circuit City announced it was unable to restructure its debt and will liquidate its remaining assets. The closure of the retail company will result in the loss of 35,000 jobs nationwide.

The following is Channel Insider’s tally of layoffs since the recession officially began in October.


Month to DateAttachmate120
 Circuit City34,000
 Electoronic Arts600
 Google (contractors)5,000
Month TotalAdobe Systems600
13,095Sage North America150
 Lexmark International80
Month TotalSpot Runner115
21,433Nortel Networks1,300
 Circuit City3,400
 Applied Materials1,800
 National Semiconductor330
 Sun Microsystems6,000
 Pillar Data Systems150
 Lawson Software200
 Lam Research600
Month Total:Qimonda3,000
46,281Jive Software40
 Sony Ericsson2,000
 MPC Computers200
 Texas Instruments300
 Manhattan Associates150
 ADC Telecoms325
Total Since October153,819