The State of Technology Layoffs, Jobs in Boston

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-08-23

Some recruiters are saying they see a decline in big chunks of layoff numbers in the Boston area, says a recent post from However, that same post doesn't paint the rosiest picture if you were one of the unfortunate folks let go from the companies listed.

The recent layoffs appear to be a combination of manufacturing, startups and biotechnology firms, though all have some technology aspect.

From the Dice post:

Norwood-based Analog Devices ... plans to shut down its Cambridge plant. Meanwhile Sonus Networks, a Westford company that works with cable, wireless and telephone companies as they transition to Internet-based communications, announced a fourth round of layoffs: It plans to cut 93 people, according to

Analogic, based in Peabody, reported plans to cut 85 jobs - or 86 percent of its workforce. Also, CombinatoRx, a Cambridge-based developer of treatments based on combinations of known drug compounds, announced it would lay off 20 workers after cutting 100 since October.

The overall numbers from the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development show the number of professional, scientific and technical jobs in the Bay State fell from about 258,200 in June 2008 to 249,700 this June, a 3.29 percent decline, says However, the Web site also notes Massachusetts-based life sciences and tech firms announced a total of 718 job cuts, a decline from the 971 layoffs recorded in April and May.

Between July 2008 and July 2009, the number of jobs posted for Boston on Dice fell by more than 53 percent, from 4,024 last year to 1,889 this year.

So, while there are still steady numbers of layoffs occurring, the trend appears to be down.

The larger problem, however, is that technology job openings in the region are over half what they were since 2008. That means much more competition for a smaller slice of a smaller pie.

The Dice post also talked to several recruiters, including one from Robert Half Technology in the area, who said that since May there has been an uptick in recession-driven IT-related jobs, especially those that can help support mobile work force infrastructure and security.

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