A Job For The Holidays

By Susan Kuchinskas

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If the first item on your holiday wish list is a job, you just may get your wish.

That is, if you lay off the eggnog and work the phones. Many people see the time between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays as downtime, a period where business goes into a lull. They are wrong, wrong, wrong, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In fact, the professional outplacement firm says, this month can be an excellent time to look for a tech job.

Around 20 percent of job seekers take a break during the holidays, Challenger said, figuring that they'll begin another full-court press on Jan. 2. Those who do will miss out on what the company estimates at 300,000 managerial and professional jobs that may be added in the closing months of the year.

"The end of year used to be a slow period for most businesses, but the 24/7 global economy has changed all of that. There is no slow period now. Companies make constant adjustments to their payrolls regardless of the date on the calendar," CEO John Challenger said in a statement.

He noted that companies are setting their budgets for the coming year, so managers know what they have to work with in terms of expansion. In addition some managers speed up the hiring process to use up funds from the current year.

One caveat to this rosy picture, however, is that the lion's share of those 30,000 jobs won't be in technology. There, the cuts continue.

According to Challenger, technology companies announced 41,439 job cuts in the third quarter, up 4.3 percent from 39,720 in the second quarter. For the year, tech-job cuts totaling 140,696 were 18.8 percent higher than the three-quarter total of 118,427 in 2004.

But Challenger saw signs that job cuts in the sector, which includes computers, telecommunications, electronics and e-commerce, may be slowing. The 41,439 job cuts announced between July and September were 24 percent lower than the 54,701 job cuts during the same period in 2004.

In 2006, the company expects the biggest job gains to come in the financial services, technology, health care, energy and international business sectors, which together could create as many as 1.3 million new jobs next year.

When it comes to salaries, though, the technology industry finally seems to be recovering from its dot-bomb hangover.

This article was first published on InternetNews.com. To read the full article, click here.