US dotcoms announced plans to cut 1,193 jobs in August, marking the first time this year that layoffs across the online sector exceeded 1,000 in two consecutive months.
The August figure is only 557 fewer than the number announced in July, but is 76 per cent lower than the 4,899 dotcom job cut announcements in the same month a year ago, according to a report released this week by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas (CG&C).
Dotcoms across the Atlantic have already announced 10,550 job cuts this year, although CG&C predicted that the total for 2002 is on track to stay below the 16,000 mark.
Nonetheless, the latest figures are well below the 2001 level. In August last year, dotcom job cuts hit 87,795, reaching 100,925 by the end of 2001.
John Challenger, chief executive at CG&C, explained that it is too early to tell whether the two consecutive 1,000-plus months marked the beginning of higher job cuts across the sector.
"There is certainly the potential as companies that survived the dotcom collapse are now struggling to survive the overall downturn in the economy," he said.
Firms offering consumer and business services, and those specialising in internet-related technology, made up the vast majority of the month's total, at 97 per cent.
CG&C has recorded 152,990 cuts since it began tracking dotcom layoffs in December 1999.
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