Study: Job Cuts Drop for Dot-Coms

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The good news is that job cuts at Internet firms fell to their lowest levels in a year. The bad news is that there simply might not be anyone left to lay off, according to a study released yesterday.


Internet firms cut nearly 50 percent fewer jobs in August than in the previous month, with layoffs totaling 4,899 compared with 8,697 in July, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In August 2000, dot-coms slashed 4,193 jobs.


But the study said the decline may result not from an economic turnaround but from continued contraction within the sector.


Challenger said the number of company closings more than doubled during August, with 21 firms permanently shutting operations, compared with nine in July.


"The decline in job cuts may not necessarily be an indication of an imminent turnaround. It is more likely that dot-com firms are running out of employees to cut," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.


Since January, dot-coms have announced 87,795 job cuts, more than double the 41,515 last year. According to Challenger, all U.S. companies combined have announced nearly 1 million layoffs from January and July.


So far this year, 248 dot-coms have closed.


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