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Job Cuts Lighten While Growth Continues

Tech firms’ planned job cuts in the first six months of the year are down 70 percent when compared with the year-ago period, according to a report by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

From January to June, tech firms announced plans to cut 35,375 jobs. Just a year ago, for the six-month period ending in June 2009, tech-sector job cuts totaled 118,108 – the highest six-month total in seven years.

The number of job cuts began to get better in the second half of 2009. During that period, the number of jobs eliminated decreased to 56,521, more than half of what it was in the first half of that year. And the first-half 2010 amount is 37 percent below the 2009 second-half total.

Electronics firms have seen the largest decreases in pink slips in the last 18 months, with the sector’s job cuts falling 95 percent from the first half of 2009. And the number of job cuts at computer firms decreased 67 percent when compared with the year-ago period.

At the same time, tech employers announced plans to add 13,138 workers in the first half of 2010, an increase when compared with the Jan.-June 2009 figure of 11,534.

Meanwhile, the number of IT jobs in June 2010 grew to 3,864,700—0.7 percent when compared with June 2009, according to TechServe Alliance. The overall private sector saw a decrease of 0.4 percent in the same period.

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