California

Tech Layoffs Doubled in First Four Months of Year

Layoffs in the tech sector more than doubled in the first four months of the year compared with the same period a year ago, according to filings under California's WARN Act.

More than 3,100 tech workers lost their jobs from January through April in the region covering Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and San Francisco counties, the report says. Just over 1,500 tech workers were laid off in the same period last year.

The 2016 total includes 279 workers who were laid off by Yahoo Inc. in Sunnyvale and San Francisco and 216 let go by Cisco Systems Inc. in San Jose.

But while many are screaming "slowdown" or "bubble," one expert says that's not the case. Mario Belotti, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, says the layoffs don't necessarily point to a slowing in the tech economy.

"I think it’s still quite good," he said. "I think what’s been happening in the last few weeks, or even the last month, is just a temporary thing."

Belotti said there are three common factors contributing to the recent hard times for Bay Area tech companies: a strong U.S. dollar, a slowing world economy and companies keeping their money in offshore accounts.

The WARN report shows most of the layoffs occurred in Santa Clara County - and more are on the way.

Intel Corp. announced a massive companywide layoff last month and filed a notice with WARN that 296 workers in Santa Clara will be let go effective May 31. An IBM filing indicates it will lay off 109 workers in San Jose by that same date.

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