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Tech Sector Facing Most Job Cuts Since 2003

The sector could lose 180,000 jobs in 2008.

The technology sector is on pace to lose 180,000 jobs this year, the most since 2003, amid a global economic downturn, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. released on Nov. 14.

The firm, which tracks job-cut announcements, said telecommunications, electronics and computer industry companies had cut 140,422 jobs through October 31.

It said 69,654 tech-sector jobs had been cut in the third quarter of the year alone. That did not include major layoffs announced since October 31 such as the 5,000 to 6,000 job cuts at Sun Microsystems on Nov. 14.

"At the current pace, the year-end total could reach 180,000, which would be the largest annual total since 2003, when technology firms announced 228,325 job cuts," it said.

A total of 107,295 tech-sector jobs were cut in 2007.

"The tech sector is simply the latest victim in this downturn that began last year with the collapse of the housing market, and quickly spread to the financial markets," chief executive John Challenger said in a statement. "Businesses and consumers have slashed their spending and no industry is immune," he added.

The 180,000 job cuts in the tech sector would be the most since 2003 but would still be far fewer than the 695,581 jobs lost in 2001, with the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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