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Google, IBM Cut Jobs; Legal Cuts Continue

March 26, 2009

The past few weeks have been fairly quiet on the layoff front, but IBM (IBM: 161.11 +0.09%) and Google (GOOG: 631.03 -0.25%) came out today with news that they’ll be making some cuts. Google announced a small cut of 200, while IBM announced that it will be eliminating 5,000 US positions.

I suspect that there are still additional rounds of layoffs that will be necessary as the economic contraction drags on. One area where there have been significant cuts is legal. Virtually every major firm right now is instituting some sort of cost cutting, ranging from layoffs to salary cuts, to delaying new hires.

According to LawShucks, which is keeping track of law firm layoffs, 9,125 people (attorneys and staff) have been laid off at major law firms between January 1, 2008 and March 20, 2009. In 2009, the number is 7,259, with some 3,000 in March alone.

Assuming a conservative 400 SF per person (the number of square feet measured per partner is often 700-1000 SF for most large law firms), that’s equivalent to about 3M square feet of Class A office space thus far this year.

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Ken March 30, 2009

I believe the job cuts at Google are much higher than the actual media is reporting.

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