Computer industry ranks third among job cuts

Job cuts continue to hit the computer industry, ranking it among the top five job-cutting industries in January, according to a new report.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read

Baby New Year faces a tough time finding a job in this climate.

U.S. job cuts announced in January soared to 241,749 across all industries, marking the largest monthly cut in the past seven years, according to a report released Wednesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The computer industry ranked No. 3 among the industries facing the biggest ax in January, with 22,330 layoffs announced.

For an industry already under siege, it offers little encouragement after the tech sector exited last year with 186,955 job cuts in the telecommunications, computer, and electronics sectors. That figure was 74.2 percent higher than the previous year, according to a Challenger report from last week.

Challenger Gray & Christmas

The month of January has faced the heaviest onslaught of layoff notices over the past seven years, and it comes as no surprise that the retail industry tops the list of hardest-hit industries.

Retailers announced 53,968 job cuts in January, a record for the industry, according to the report.

The industrial goods sector ranked second, with 32,083 cuts announced last month, followed by the computer industry, then the pharmaceutical industry with 22,063 cuts, and aerospace-defense with 17,800.

John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement:

Industries that first appeared to be immune to downturns, such as computer and pharmaceutical, are now rapidly shedding workers.

Unfortunately, there is no light at the end of the tunnel yet. Even if the stimulus package is successful, it could take months to make a noticeable impact on the employment picture.

In the meantime, jobs are being clear-cut in the tech industry. On Wednesday, Panasonic announced 15,000 job cuts. On Tuesday, Electronic Arts announced 1,100 layoffs.