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More US .com job losses predicted
Source: AP|Published: Thursday December 28, 8:37 AM
The list of layoffs at American Internet firms continued to grow in December, increasing 19 per cent from November, a new study released today said. Dot-com companies eliminated 10,459 positions from their payrolls, up from 8,789 in November, for a total of 41,515 since last December, according to the report by outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.
"The two halves of 2000 were like night and day for dot-commers," the company's chief executive officer, John A Challenger, said.
"In the first six months, all you heard about were job fairs, lavish recruiting parties and after-hours mixers where would-be entrepreneurs hoped to meet free-spending venture capitalists. Now, pink-slip parties are the rage."
Between January and June of this year, the Internet sector cut a total of 5,097 jobs. From July through December, 36,177 reductions were made.
Most of the job losses occurred at dot-com companies that specialise in services such as consulting, financial and information. Internet retail firms saw the second-largest number of cuts.
In recent weeks, companies such as consultancy Scient Corp and online grocer HomeGrocer.com, which is being acquired by Webvan Group Inc, have shed jobs.
Although December marked the seventh consecutive month in which Internet job cuts rose over the previous month, the rate of retrenchment has slowed, the group said.
The number of layoffs in November represented a 55 per cent increase from October, when the sector cut 5,677 jobs.
But Challenger said he was pessimistic that Internet companies would stop losing jobs any time soon.
"My guess is there's more pain to come," he said. "As we hit January and February, they're going to sit down with their investors and post-mortem what happened. I think more are going to decide to close their doors."
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2000