The results, published today (see Grim Reaping: A Downturn Tally), make grim reading. Among the 40 public companies represented in the Light Reading Index, 24 have undergone workforce reductions this year. The total body count comes to more than 84,000 people, and is continuing to increase.
Somewhat symbolically, the company that was riding highest last year -- Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) -- has taken the biggest fall. Its layoff total of 30,000 is three times bigger than the next company on Light Reading's list, Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU)
In terms of percentages of total workforces, however, components manufacturers have come off considerably worse. Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX) has shed 56 percent of its staff, and New Focus Inc. (Nasdaq: NUFO) has shed 43 percent.
Among startups, the companies that have made the deepest cuts in staff numbers include:
— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading