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10/9/2008
07:39 PM
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Non-Market Meltdown Layoffs Hit Silicon Valley

California State employment officials last month said that 1,417,000 people were unemployed in the state in August, up by 61,000 from July and by 413,000 from August 2007.

Layoffs are on the rise, in California and elsewhere. Some of the job losses can be tied to the state of the economy; some of them have more to do with post-acquisition reorganization.

On Thursday, Micron Technology said it would get rid of about 3,000 jobs.

EBay on Monday said it would reduce staff by 1,000.

HP last month said it would cut 24,600 jobs and is expected to start doing so as soon as next week. HP said that the company's layoffs, which will happen over three years, are a result of its EDS acquisition and not a reflection of the current economic downturn. The company expects to hire about 12,000 people to bolster EDS's service operations as well as its marketing and R&D labs.

Yahoo is said to be preparing substantial job cuts, too, possibly in conjunction with its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 21. Silicon Alley Insider on Wednesday said 3,500 jobs will be cut and on Thursday suggested the number could be higher.

Yahoo spokesman Brad Williams told MarketWatch last week that Yahoo hadn't announced any layoffs and such talk was speculative.

Earlier this year, Sun Microsystems said it would lay off as many as 2,500 people over the coming year. Nortel, following 2,100 job cuts in February, its stock still suffering, plans further restructuring and cost cutting. And Motorola in April said it would get rid of 2,600 jobs.

Even Google laid off about 300 DoubleClick employees in April.

There are rumors that AT&T is planning to cut some jobs, too. An AT&T spokesperson wasn't immediately available for comment.

The California Employment Development Department last month said that 1,417,000 people were unemployed in the state in August, up by 61,000 from July and by 413,000 from August 2007.

The state's unemployment rate in August was 7.7%, up from 5.5% in August 2007.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,772 mass layoffs involving 173,955 workers in August. A "mass layoff" is when an employer has at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance filed against it during a five-week period. This is the highest number of unemployment insurance claimants for the month since August 2001.

Perhaps sensing a growing market in misery, Silicon Valley tech blog Valleywag has started a public list of layoff notices including its own, apparently.

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