Silicon Valley firms are doubling down on slashing their workforce, revealing a 71% increase in job cuts in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year.
According to job placement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., there have been 62,917 job cuts in Silicon Valley so far this year, dwarfing the 36,881 cuts these employers announced between January and July 2015.
The latest to announce job cuts is the American networking giant Cisco System, which will lay off about 5,500 employees, about 7% of its workforce. This comes after Intel announced in April that it would cut 12,000 jobs, and Dell announced 10,000 planned job cuts in January.
Over the past few months, Xerox, Seagate Technology, Dell Inc and Qualcomm have also announced plans to downsize their workforce.
Challenger does not blame the U.S. political rumblings for the layoffs; it says tech firms are adapting to the changing trends in the sector.
“We have seen a number of large-scale layoffs from technology firms going back to 2015″, said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “While the sector remains an area of solid growth, it appears that large firms are coming to terms with major shifts in business trends. Companies that do not adapt to changing trends will be left behind. Nobody knows this better than technology firms.”
There are several frightening predictions about the job opportunities in the U.S. tech sector. Citing a prediction from an equity market analyst, Information Week reported that as many as 261,800 tech jobs would be lost this year.
Many analysts have doubted this prediction, saying Silicon Valley tech firms are hiring for new positions even as they are slashing jobs. But the fact is they are adding only a few hundred jobs after announcing to lay off thousands.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise, for example, is adding about 270 IT jobs, but last year the company announced plans to cut between 25,000 and 30,000 jobs.