IBM, Agilent Slash Jobs; Tech Sector Struggles Under Economy

Santa Clara-based Agilent Technologies announced today they were cutting 2,700 jobs in an effort to restructure during the downturn. This comes a day after rumors of 5,000 job cuts from IBM surfaced, bringing the computer company’s total layoff announcement to around 9,000 for the year.

Challenger has tracked 67,127 technology sector job cuts through February 2009, compared to 14,637 tech cuts through the same period last year. Tech cuts include the telecom, electronics and computer industry combined. Through part of March, we have seen over 15,000 tech cuts, bringing the quarterly total to somewhere near 82,000. This is already over half of what the yearly technology sector layoff total was for 2008 (155,570). Erik Sherman over at BNet offered some reasons why layoffs seem to be soaring at tech firms.

(Our official monthly job cut report for March will be issued Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30am ET.)

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