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Tech jobs in Rhode Island lost

Posted on February 6, 2015

A new survey from global outplacement Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. shows that tech jobs in Rhode Island and other locations have been cut.

Employers in the technology sector announced a total of 100,757 job cuts in 2014.

The biggest increase in job-cut activity occurred in the electronics industry, where annual job cuts surged 120 percent from 8,830 in 2013 to 19,408 last year. The 2014 total was the largest for the electronics industry since 65,300 layoffs were announced by these firms in 2009.

Job cuts in the telecommunications industry also increased in 2014, rising 68 percent to 21,821. The increase comes just one year after annual job cuts in the industry shrank to 12,952, the lowest 12-month total on record.

“Oddly, the technology sector was among the stronger segments of the economy in 2014 and is likely to be a source for continued growth and job creation in 2015. However, we did see several large scale layoff announcements from tech giants, including 18,000 from Microsoft and 16,000 from Hewlett-Packard, which has now shed more than 50,000 workers since 2013,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“Announcements from other old-guard tech firms, such as Cisco Systems, Intel and Symantec, are not indicative of a sector in decline, but of one that is in flux. Several of the firms announcing job cuts in 2014 mentioned the need to be more nimble and streamlined to remain competitive.

“Technology is sector where trends shift quickly and companies have to be able to pivot in response without enduring several quarters of earnings losses. It is common to see simultaneous job destruction and creation, as employers shed workers in one area, while building up another. So, the heavy downsizing that occurred in this sector last year should not be cause for alarm,” noted Challenger.

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