Dot-com job cuts hit record in April

Job cuts in the Internet arena have hit a record 17,554 so far this month, according to an outplacement company that tracks Net-related layoffs. That's up more than 80 per cent from the 9,533 cuts announced last month.

While dot-coms continue to shed the most jobs overall, there was a sharp rise in the number of layoffs announced by traditional companies' Internet divisions, reported Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Thursday.

"We are seeing a telling shift in the types of companies that are announcing job cuts," CEO John A. Challenger said in a statement. "In the beginning of the downturn, it was primarily the companies which conducted business solely over the Internet that were having the most trouble. ... We now see more and more Old Economy-New Economy hybrids cutting their online staffs."

Pure Internet companies announced 6,059 job cuts this month, according to Challenger.The sharpest jump in job reductions came in the online financial services sector, which saw 2,341 cuts this month, up from 302 in March, the outplacement firm said. That's likely due in part to the decline in stock prices, which has caused a slowdown in all kinds of equity trading.

Late last month, for example, Charles Schwab & Co. said it would cut 3,400 positions because of an overcapacity for processing online trading orders. And Ameritrade Holding Corp. said this month it's cutting about 7 per cent of its workforce due to adverse market conditions.

April 2000 job cuts by business category Technology 6,059 Consumer services 2,959 Financial services 2,341 Retail 2,284 Professional services 2,023 Media 814 Portal 703 Entertainment 371 Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas.