When tech jobs don't last forever

Intel is one of the companies that announced layoffs.

There are job cuts and there are companies that announce plans to cut jobs. The outplacement firm Challenger Grey and Christmas keeps a monthly tally of the latter, and there's news just now these layoff announcements surged in January. A combined total of 45,100 jobs will eventually go, including many jobs from the supposedly screamingly-hot world of technology.

John Challenger is CEO is the company that commissions the survey and said that while the tech industry has seen a lot of growth, it's also subject to a lot of volatility. Companies like Intel and EMC are shifting their business strategies to account for the mobile market.

Many of the announced layoffs are part of a trend we've been tracking in recent weeks, with retailers like Target, Sear's, Macy's laying off after the holidays.

"The cuts that occured in retail came from two sources," Challenger says, "They looked at their store operations and cut unprofitable areas of their businesses post-holiday rush, but also tens of thousands of workers, year-in-year-out, leave their jobs -- they've been hired during the holiday season -- and then when the season's over, they go back to their full-time jobs or second jobs. Those jobs literally disappear when the season's over and come back in the following year."

The government's monthly tally of employed and unemployed comes tomorrow, a report that experts say could be distorted by the weather and people falling out of the labor force after their unemployment benefits were curtailed.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio

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