Enterprise might be computer driven in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean the technology sector is safe from job cuts.
 

Planned layoffs announced by technology firms rose for the second consecutive year in 2009, reaching the highest level since 2005, said the Chicago outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas in a report released Tuesday. But the decline in cuts in the second half of the year offers hope of a 2010 turnaround, said Challenger, which tracks announced job cuts.


Employers in the technology sector, which includes computer, electronics and telecommunications firms, announced 174,629 planned job cuts in 2009.
 

The 2009 total is 12.3 percent higher than the 155,570 job cuts announced in 2008. Last year’s total is the largest year-end total since 2005, when tech-sector employers announced 174,744 job cuts.
 

The 2009 increase was due in large part to a first-quarter surge of 84,217 layoffs announced by tech-sector firms.
 

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But the number of job cuts dropped significantly in the second quarter to 33,891. By the third quarter, technology job cuts had fallen to a six-quarter low of 24,808.
 

Fourth-quarter job cuts jumped 28 percent to 31,713, but the pace of technology cuts was down dramatically in the second half of 2009 overall. After announcing 118,108 job cuts between January and June, layoffs in the last six months of the year totaled just 56,521, a 52 percent drop.