I was at a very crowded High Tech Happy Hour event last night in Austin, and I speculated that attendance was so robust because people are once again out looking for jobs. I was quickly told no, people were out looking for deals and few folks were worried about their job situation.
Maybe they should be. The economy isn’t doing well, and several technology firms are looking at ways to cut costs, either as a response to the economy or merely to keep a struggling ship afloat. Yesterday, AMD cut 420 workers worldwide, including 215 in Austin, as a step towards its stated goal of reducing its workforce by 10 percent (680 people).
Also affecting Austin were layoffs at computer manufacturer Dell Inc. I don’t have details about the move, but was told by two Dell employees that cuts were made on Thursday, likely as part of the PC maker’s announced c10 percent workforce cuts. Today, telecommunications company AT&T said it would lay off 1.5 percent of its 300,000-member workforce. Spokesman Brad Mays says that number will be less than 5,000 jobs spread across the company. However, no customer-facing positions would be affected.