Internet technology companies--those that build and maintain Net infrastructure--bore the brunt of the cuts, with 5,860. The two runners up: consumer services at 3,462 and professional-services firms at 2,265. "Bricks-and-mortar companies that got out ahead of the curve and built Internet divisions are cutting back," says John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. As a result, technology companies are feeling the pinch as more companies go under or decide against upgrades, he says.
Although the pace of cuts slowed, May wasn't exactly a gentle month. It wins the silver medal for highest number of dot-com cuts to date. "The pressure is still on," says Challenger. Declining job cuts certainly don't offer any guarantees, as recent history shows. Dot-com job cuts were down in March as well--18% less than February levels--before they surged 84% to April's record high of 17,554 cuts.