Although the markets have reacted positively to financial results from the likes of Apple, Intel and AOL Time Warner, April has been a month of big job cuts across the tech sector.
While the British economy is still experiencing growth, workers this side of the Atlantic are not immune from the US economic downturn. Union members claim that, despite the intervention of the prime minister, Motorola is poised to close its factory at Bathgate, Scotland, with the loss of over 3,000 jobs. Compaq has already laid off some 850 staff, including contract workers, from its operations north of the border, and plans to cut 7,000 jobs worldwide.
Thousands of workers will also be axed by Palm, Hewlett-Packard, Marconi, Philips and, according to reports, Texas Instruments. In each case, a slowdown in orders is one reason given for the cutbacks.
Sega, creator of video games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, announced last Thursday that 300 jobs would be lost as it tries to reach profitability by March 2002 -- while software maker Siebel has just reduced its workforce by 800.
The telecoms sector has also been suffering. Lower handset sales has forced Siemens to axe 3,500 jobs, after it revealed that its mobile operations had made a loss so far this year. Swedish giant Ericsson is going to slash up to 12,000 jobs on top of the 9,000 that it has already cut this year, and Nortel Networks is planning to make 5,000 employees redundant.
While union leaders are warning companies to be cautious in their cutbacks, Dell chairman Michael Dell has admitted that his company overhired in the good times, forcing it to lay off staff when things got tougher.
So far this month, the number of jobs reportedly cut by major high-tech firms has reached 45,500.
Siemens to cut jobs as mobile slowdown bites
Thu, 26 Apr Shares down on layoff news, as 3,500 staff are cut Motorola defies Tony Blair and shuts Scottish factory
Tue, 24 Apr Prime minister's personal plea wasn't enough to stop the closure of the Bathgate factory -- and the unions aren't happy Motorola poised to shut Scottish plant
Tue, 24 Apr Devastating blow to be dealt to Scotland's 'Silicon Glen' Ericsson warns of 12,000 job losses
Fri, 20 Apr Chief exec hopes Ericsson can return to profitability in the second half -- more than one fifth of the company's workforce will have been axed this year Palm begins hefty job cuts
Thu, 19 Apr Suffering from a sharp drop in demand, the handheld maker starts doling out pink slips and finding other ways to tighten its belt HP to miss targets and cut 3,000 jobs
Wed, 18 Apr Profit warning from HP means doom and gloom for consumer PC market Texas Instruments reportedly to lay off 2,600
Tue, 17 Apr TI to embark on serious job cuts, says Wall Street Journal Blair intervenes to prevent 3,000 mobile job losses
Tue, 10 Apr Government acts to prevent Motorola job losses Marconi cuts jobs
Mon, 09 Apr UK telecoms provider warns of slowdown in orders as economic problems spread outside US Dell chairman says 'screwed up' with layoffs
Mon, 09 Apr Company admits overhiring in boom time Jobs go at Compaq's Scottish factory
Tue, 03 Apr US economic slump means redundancies this side of the Atlantic COMMENT:
Out in the real world, Cisco's lost staff, especially the technical people, will be snapped up by bricks-and-mortar corporates, desperate to move into the next phase of the growth of e-commerce. Guy Kewney says: Cisco may have hiccupped; but nothing can actually stop the Internet now. Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum. Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read what others have said.