Tech companies swing the jobs axe

Corporations in the UK and around the world have cut more than 200,000 jobs in the last few months, with the tech sector contributing the lion's share

More than 200,000 jobs have been cut over the last few months in tech companies around the world as the economic slump has eaten into their profits.

While some tech companies, like Hewlett-Packard, have supplemented layoffs with innovative schemes such as voluntary pay cuts, most have found it necessary to prepare for slower growth by cutting back on staff. While the tech sector has suffered the worst -- with telecommunications contributing around half of the overall job losses -- the economic shock has been felt in every sector from food to chemicals.

Among the worst hit in the UK have been British Telecommunications, which on Friday announced additional job cuts that would mostly affect its BT Ignite division, and cable and telecoms company ntl, which said it will lay off 4,300, despite reporting a rise in revenues.

Among smaller job losses, Waterstone's on Thursday announced that it would turn over the operations of its e-commerce site to Amazon.co.uk, affecting 50 jobs, which the company hopes to move to other parts of the company.

While big companies continue to cut jobs, the surviving smaller Internet firms are still facing the prospect of going out of business entirely. StepStone, the recruitment site, said on Wednesday it may need more cash to make it to profitability next year, while Scoot.com told investors on Friday it had sold off its 50 percent stake in Scoot Europe to keep from going bankrupt.

The table shows the date when the cuts were announced and only includes layoffs of 1,000 or more.

SECTORDATEJOB CUTS
TECHNOLOGY
Cisco SystemsApril8,500
Hewlett-PackardJuly6,000
Yahoo!April3,510
IBMJuly1,500
InfineonJuly5,000
PhilipsOver 200110,000
CompaqJuly8,000
ComingJuly1,000
TELECOMS
AlcatelJuly14,000
ntlJuly4,300
AvayaJune-July5,000
SiemensMay-July10,000
LucentJuly15,000-20,000
EricssonJulyUp to 22,000
MotorolaOver 200130,000
MarconiJuly4,000
BTOver 20016,000
NokiaMarch-June1,000
ELECTRONICS AND ENGINEERING
ABBJuly12,000
InvensysMay-July6,000
MANMarch1,200
CooksonOver 20011,960
MEDIA
ReutersJuly1,100
Dun & BradstreetJuly1,700

See also: ZDNet UK's earnings roundup.

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