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Did the state lose Maryland tech jobs?

Posted on January 31, 2016

Tech suffered some losses last month, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, and Maryland tech jobs may have been shed.

Job cuts announced by employers in the U.S. technology sector declined 21 percent in 2015, according to a new analysis of layoff data.

While job cuts in the broader tech sector were down, announced layoffs by computer firms increased by 5.0 percent from 59,528 in 2014 to 62,191 in 2015. The increase was due primarily to a third-quarter surge that saw more than 47,000 announced layoffs from several notable firms, including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Intel and Unisys.

Telecommunications experienced the most significant decline in job cuts. Downsizing in the industry plunged 78 percent from a 2014 total of 21,821 to 4,708 in 2015. That is the fewest annual telecom job cuts on record, according to Challenger, which began its tracking in 1993.

Overall, the tech sector was responsible for 13 percent of the 598,510 total job cuts announced in 2015.

“The technology sector remains an area of solid growth. However, the very nature of technology means there were always be a lot of churn and volatility. Dot.coms come and go as quickly as popular musical artists. Furthermore, the need to remain on the cutting edge means that companies are constantly shifting resources,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“These types of failures are perhaps more common in the tech sector, where rapidly changing trends force companies to constantly pivot and try new strategies. They will divest in one area and invest in another. Even the large, multinational conglomerates are relatively quick to change directions when necessary.

“We could see more of this in 2016, which could lead to increased turnover in the industry. Jobs may shift from company to another, while others are lost. Overall, employment in the industry should continue to grow. So much so, that the biggest problem will be finding skilled workers,” said Challenger.



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