Main image of article Layoffs Don't Mean Tech-Industry Weakness

Is the technology industry experiencing some jobs weakness? Tech companies have declared a combined 72,333 layoffs in the past twelve months, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. But don’t take that as a sign of trouble for the industry as a whole. “It would be wrong to assume that increased job cuts are a sign of weakness in the tech sector,” John A. Challenger, CEO of the firm, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “The simple fact is that the industry is going through a transformation and companies either have to shift their focus or risk extinction.” Enterprises that have eliminated thousands of jobs over the past year include Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Intel, and Microsoft. Yahoo has also cut positions (tip for managers: don’t refer to layoffs as a ‘remix,’ unless you want to face a lot of negative press.) Those firms, which represent the “old guard” of the tech world, have attempted to reinvent themselves as cloud-first, mobile-first companies supple enough to compete with even the most aggressive startups. The downside of such reinvention, of course, is that it demands the winnowing of legacy businesses. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the tech industry as a whole remains low, and companies continue to hunt for tech pros with the right mixes of development and management skills. Experienced professionals are just as much in demand as ever, necessitating a hard and savvy push from recruiters and employers who want to enlist them in their ranks.