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Microsoft leads the way, but has plenty of company on jobs cut front
The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers are positive: nonfarm payroll employment rose by nearly 300,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.1%. Separately, IT careers market watcher Foote Partners reported in its most recent quarterly findings that average pay is up for IT pros with key certified and noncertified skills. Yet the masses still need to make room for some of the big tech companies to bring in workers with hotter skills and of course to overpay their higher-ups, so it’s not as if IT pros and those working for computing/networking companies haven’t lost jobs this year, too.
Microsoft: The software (and now hardware thanks to Nokia) maker might very well have the biggest layoff news of the year locked up, with its July announcement that it would be sacking 18,000 workers (or whatever Microsoft was calling the move). About two-thirds of the cuts will come from the recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services group.
Siemens Unify: It was announced in June that the former Siemens Enterprise Communications would ax about half of its 7,700 employees, with a large chunk of them currently located in central Europe. The company said the reorganization is needed because the unified communications market has undergone "dramatic shifts" away from hardware-based systems and toward software and cloud based products, leading to "pricing pressure."
HP: The big layoff numbers at HP blend from one year into the next, but the company did say in May it would ditch another 11,000 to 16,000 jobs, after earlier saying it would cut 34,000. The company, which employs more than 300,000 people, is aiming to shed billions of dollars in spending in the face of flattening hardware revenue.
SAP: Exactly how bloody the software company’s layoffs announced in May were unknown publicly, but SAP said it was trimming its workforce to restructure its overall skill set. The news broke right before the company’s annual Sapphire Now conference.
Sprint: The carrier’s “framily” of 40,000 or so employees shriveled some this year, according to various media reports that have pieced together layoff figures that Sprint hasn’t exactly come out and announced. A Gigaom report in March, for example, rounded up various reports of layoffs, including some 1,500 layoffs at shuttered call centers in Kansas, California and New Jersey. Sprint is paying millions of dollars in severance to those laid off over the past couple of years. And of course if Sprint and T-Mobile do merge, more layoffs can be expected.
Juniper Networks: The switch/router company slashed its workforce by 6%, or about 500 people, as part of a restructuring that also included curtailing development of its application delivery controller technology.
NetApp: The network storage company said in March it was cutting its workforce by 4.6%, totaling 600 workers due to constrained IT spending. The company, which a year earlier laid off 900 people, is seen directing more focus to software.
IBM: Big Blue’s workforce cuts (or “rebalancings”) are always a mystery, numberswise, leaving it up to unions to toss out their estimates (4,000 to 6,000 was one estimate in February). Even though numbers would leave IBM with a lot of work to do to reach its $1 billion cost cutting goal.
Dell: The company confirmed in February that it cut what it called a “small percentage” of its workforce, which overall stood at 113,000 workers at the end of 2013. At the same time, Dell said it is hiring in key growth areas such as software and hardware development and customer support. The company, known best for its PCs and servers, is making a big push in networking, bundling SDN technology for example with its switches.
Intel: The chipmaker didn’t beat around the bush heading into 2014, announcing that it expected its workforce to shrink by 5% this year amid expectations of flat sales. Intel said: "Intel will be aligning resources to meet the needs of the business this year. This will include targeted workforce reduction in addition to realignment of resources."
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