Report: Dot-com job cuts top 1,000 for second month

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said US dot-com job cuts exceeded 1,000 for the second month in a row.

In August, dot-com companies announced plans to cut 1,193 jobs, just 557 fewer than the 1,750 cuts announced in July, according to Chicago-based Challenger, which tracks job cut announcements daily.

Challenger said it was the first time this year that dot-com job cuts topped 1,000 for two consecutive months.

Still, the August figure was 76 percent lower than the 4,899 job cuts recorded in the same month a year ago, the firm said.

Dot-coms have announced 10,550 cuts so far this year, well below the 87,795 posted through August 2001, Challenger said. By the end of last year, dot-com job cuts had reached 100,925; this year, however, cuts are on track to stay below 16,000.

"It is too early to tell if the two consecutive 1,000-plus months are the beginning of higher dot-com job cuts," said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "There is certainly the potential, as companies that survived the dot-com collapse are now struggling to survive the overall downturn in the economy."

Challenger said the majority of dot-com job cuts were announced by companies offering consumer and business services, as well as firms specializing in Internet-related technology. Consumer services posted 885 cuts, and technology firms announced 275 job cuts, Challenger said. Together, those two fields posted 97 percent of the month's total, the firm said.

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