According to Light Reading's latest tally, the number of pink slips delivered in the optical networking space has reached 140,583 for public companies alone (see Grim Reaping: A Downturn Tally, updated just in time for Labor Day).
The numbers have grown as the result of workforce reductions by Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW), Fujitsu Network Communications Inc., and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) -- see Corning to Layoff 1000 More, Corning Catches Cold, Tellabs Cuts 1000, and Optical Scythe Swings On.
In addition, scores of other workers are being jettisoned from private companies and startups (see Onix Follows in OMM's Footsteps, Network Photonics Scales Back, Disaster for Entrada? , Zenastra Zaps Employees, and Coree Cuts Back).
As the unemployed seek other positions, recruiters say they're seeing some interesting trends -- ones that suggest that jobless are getting a little desperate. Among these:
- Jobseekers are sticking close to home.
"People on the East Coast don't want to move, as a rule. It's a priority not to relocate," said one recruiter, who asked not to be named. "It's more important to stay home." Even if home is New Jersey.
Bell Labs, for instance, has been an ongoing source of talent for the N.J. startups listed above. And in Ottawa, new companies routinely cite the exodus from Nortel and other local firms as a rich vein of new blood.
For example, experts say companies that focus on what they believe to be future technology requirements may be more risky than those geared to present-day needs. Conversely, companies targeting present requirements need to be on track with future trends.
Digging the details won't ensure that a company won't derail later on. But it just might help some jobseekers stay on the tracks a while longer.
— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading