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Biggest tech industry layoffs of 2012

Bob Brown | May 31, 2012
Research in Motion, reeling as its BlackBerry takes a beating from the Apple iPhone and assorted Android smartphones, is expected to lay off anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 employees

*NEC kicked off 2012 by announcing it would cut 10,000 workers, including 3,000 outside of Japan, while forecasting a $1.3 billion loss in the fiscal year ended in March. The company's smartphone business has suffered from incursions by other companies into the Japanese market, while NEC has also continued to suffer from flood-ruined plants in Thailand.

*Yahoo, which continues to take a pounding from Google and others, said in April job cuts would enable it to go forward as a smaller, more profitable company focused on its "core media, connections and commerce businesses." Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson said the company was reducing its workforce by about 2,000 people, or 14% overall, and as it turns out, those numbers wound up including Thompson himself after it was revealed he had embellished his resume. 

*Computerworld reported in March that IBM cut 1,000 workers in the United States, though details on where within IBM the cuts were made is fuzzy. IBM is estimated to employ a little less than 100,000 people in the United States, and more than 400,000 worldwide.

*Finally, one workforce reduction that might hit especially close to home for Network World's IT professional readers: Lloyds Banking Group is offshoring some 300 IT roles to suppliers, and cutting another 100 IT workers. The cuts are part of the company's 1,600-job reduction across the United Kingdom, according to an IDG/Computerworld UK report.

According to jobs watcher Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 4,845 computer industry jobs were lost through April in the United States, plus another 7,421 in telecom. That's up from the 2,301 computer jobs and 4,752 telecom jobs lost through April 2011.

But on the bright side, IT jobs continued to grow briskly overall in April, according to TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT services firms, clients and customers that bases its findings on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. In April, the number of IT jobs grew by 17,000 or 0.4% sequentially to 4,168,700, according to TechServe Alliance. April marks the fourth straight month in which IT employment has reached a new record high. IT jobs rose by 117,000, or 2.9%, in the past 12 months.


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