Planned layoffs that will impact 30,000 workers at computer giant Hewlett-Packard helped push job cuts announced by technology-sector firms to their highest level in three years, according to a report on tech-sector downsizing released Monday by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Technology firms, including those in computer, electronics, and telecommunications, combined to announce 51,529 job cuts in the first half of 2012, a 260 percent increase from the 14,308 cuts announced during the same period a year ago. The midyear total is, in fact, 39 percent higher than the 2011 yearend total of 37,038. It is the largest midyear total since 2009, when the sector announced 118,108 job cuts in the first six months of the year.
The surge in tech-sector job cuts occurred amid an increase in overall job cuts. However, the 283,091 job cuts announced across all industries in the first half of 2012 were up just 15 percent from the 245,806 total industry job cuts at the same point last year.
Due primarily to the large job-cut announcement by Hewlett-Packard, the computer industry led the way in first-half job cuts with 34,380. That marks a substantial increase from a year ago, when computer firms announced just 3,178 job cuts from January through June. The computer industry alone announced more than twice as many job cuts in the first half of 2012 than in all of 2011 (14,677).