US IT and telecoms companies have slashed around 60,000 jobs in the first three months of the year, which is about twice the number for the same period last year.
The figures were revealed in a report published by jobs outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which said around 35,000 of the layoffs were in the telecommunications industry, with many jobs lost as a result of major company mergers.
Telecoms cuts are set to continue as SBC, which is seeking to complete the acquisition of AT&T, wants to slash around 13,000 jobs if its takeover is given regulatory approval.
And Qwest, which is engaged in a contested merger with MCI, wants a 15,000 headcount reduction.
Oracle has cut around 5,000 jobs since its acquisition of PeopleSoft, and HP is also reducing its headcount. Sun Microsystems is also making gradual cuts in its various operations.