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February technology layoffs dropped more than 70 percent from January’s record pace, with more than 33,000 technology jobs displaced. 

Panasonic announced a cut of 15,000 employees, representing 5 percent of its total work force.  “Business conditions have worsened particularly since last October,” Panasonic said in a statement, “due mainly to the rapid appreciation of the yen, sluggish consumer spending worldwide and ever-intensified price competition.”  

Panasonic announced the proposed closing of 13 manufacturing sites in Japan and 14 others by the end of March 2010. The reduction of work force is expected to be completed at the same time with 50 percent of the job reductions taking place in Japan.

>> CHECK OUT: Top 10 Job Cutting Vendors

Another Japanese manufacturer, Pioneer, announced its departure from the flat television market and a slashing of 27 percent of its work force, roughly 10,000 people.

Pioneer launched the world’s first plasma TV in 1997 and built up a valuable niche among high-end models.  "It is extremely painful to give up a business we have built up as a pioneer in the industry," President Susumu Kotani told a news conference.   

Pioneer announced the reduction of 6,000 regular employees and 4,000 temporary and contract staff. Those cuts will come on top of the 5,900 jobs it announced last March and December. 

The slowing pace of layoffs is a reflection of how many companies are pausing for signs of future recovery in the economy. In January, major technology vendors shed nearly 125,000 jobs from their rolls. Overall, the U.S. economy gave up nearly 700,000 jobs in January, the highest money job loss in 27 years.

While the news continues to be grim for manufacturers, solution providers are offering an alternative and increasing their work forces. According to a recent Channel Insider survey, 40 percent of solution providers are either in the process of hiring new employees or plan to add to their work force in the second half of this year.

Frank Ballatore, CEO of New England Computer Group, has a caution for solution providers that are cutting staff right now. “This is temporary. We have seen cycles like this before, but if you have built your business around solutions and services, this is a great time to grow your business.”

An astounding 67 percent of displaced sales and technical manufacturing employees responded that they are having success with both full-time and contract employment at solution providers.

“It has been a great change,” wrote one respondent. “I work each day on a technology I know inside and out and can work directly in growing a company. This is something I could not do with the big guys.”

Other respondents cited better working environments, opportunity for growth and working closer to home as the key reasons for joining a solution provider.

Since the economic crisis began in September, the technology industry has shed nearly 239,000 jobs. Following is a list of the latest technology layoffs as tracked by Channel Insider.


  Company Layoffs
February Agilent Technologies 600
Month Total AMCC 100
             33,868 Cisco 2,000
  Electronic Arts 1,100
  Marvell Semiconductor 46
  Micron Technology 2,000
  NetApp 480
  Nokia 625
  Panasonic 15,000
  Pentair Electronic Packaging 174
  Pioneer 10,000
  Razorfish 70
  STEC Inc 35
  THQ 600
  Western Digital 22
  Xyratex International, Inc. 311
  Yahoo 705
January AMD 1,100
Month Total AOL 700
           124,320 Attachmate 120
  Autodesk 750
  BlueArc 21
  Bose 1,000
  Circuit City 34,000
  Citrix 460
  Coremetrics 29
  Dell 1,900
  Electoronic Arts 600
  EMC 2,400
  Ericsson 5,000
  Google 100
  Google (contractors) 5,000
  Hitachi 7,000
  IBM 2,850
  Intel 6,000
  Kronos 260
  Lenovo 2,500
  Lexmark 375
  Logitech 500
  Microsoft 5,000
  Motorola 4,000
  NEC 20,000
  Nokia 1,000
  Oracle 500
  Philips 6,000
  SAP 300
  Seagate 800
  Sprint/Nextel 8,000
  Sun 1,300
  Texas Instruments 3,400
  Unisys 1,300
  WatchGuard 55
December Intrinsyc 95
Month Total Adobe Systems 600
             13,095 Sage North America 150
  AT&T 12,000
  Windstream 170
  Lexmark International 80
November Kodak 150
Month Total Spot Runner 115
             21,433 Nortel Networks 1,300
  Motorola 3,000
  Nokia 600
  Tektronix 150
  Cadence 625
  AMD 500
  SanDisk 450
  BitTorrent 18
  Insight 240
  Circuit City 3,400
  Imation 200
  Applied Materials 1,800
  National Semiconductor 330
  Sun Microsystems 6,000
  Epicor 300
  KLA-Tencor 900
  Pillar Data Systems 150
  Lawson Software 200
  Lam Research 600
  Akamai 110
  Palm 105
  Quantum 180
  Fring 10
October Micron 353
Month Total: Qimonda 3,000
             46,281 Jive Software 40
  Actel 60
  Sony Ericsson 2,000
  MPC Computers 200
  Lenovo 50
  Jaxtr 13
  Texas Instruments 300
  Softchoice 65
  Manhattan Associates 150
  HP 24,600
  Dell 8,900
  Xerox 3,000
  ADC Telecoms 325
  BroadSoft 12
  Symantec 788
  Freescale 2,400
  Aliph 25