Dot-com job cuts on rise since terrorist attacks

Dot-com job cuts rose 62 percent in October -- the first increase in five months -- in part because of the fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The cuts rose from 2,986 in September to 4,840 this month.

Heaviest hit in October, according to Challenger, were travel sites and the once-stable business-to-business sector. Even so, the October figure managed to stay below the level of job cuts posted a year ago. In October 2000, 5,677 job cuts took place.

The latest dot-com job cut figures bring the total for the year so far to 95,621, more than double the 41,515 dot-com cuts made in all of 2000.

Challenger said 2,055 dot-com jobs were cut at consumer service firms such as travel-related sites. That accounted for 42 percent of the monthly total. Technology firms were also hit in October, posting 1,140 job cuts, followed closely by professional services/business-to-business companies, which announced 1,001 job cuts.

"Several companies in their announcements attributed a marked drop in business to the ongoing economic uncertainty, which only worsened after Sept. 11," said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement. "Sites specializing in airline reservations and travel planning experienced a substantial fall-off in business, which led to over 800 cuts".

Challenger said the impact of Sept. 11 has now rippled through the dot-com sector, as well as through most other industries.

"As companies continue to cut back in online advertising, Web sites are reducing their business with vendors," he said. "As the entire Internet sector continues to struggle, so do the companies that provide the technology and hard-wiring."

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