Editor’s note: The drip-drip-drip of job cuts shows no sign of slowing

November 11, 2012

The election day news was not good.

I’m not referring to the results of the presidential race.

I’m talking about the notices of possible job cuts made public last week when many of us were probably preoccupied with other headlines.

The privately held government contracting firm SRA International told Virginia authorities that it plans to cut 220 jobs in Arlington come Jan. 1 after losing an IT contract with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The beneficiary of that action, the company that won the FDIC contract, Computer Sciences Corp., is not exactly planning a growth spurt. In a release describing its latest financial results, CSC said its profit of 83 cents per share might have been 25 cents larger if it had not taken a workforce restructuring charge of $58 million, a consequence of earlier job actions.

Chief executive Mike Lawrie said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts that the “workforce optimization” process was ahead of schedule and had already reduced 13 layers of management in some units, to seven or eight.

Elsewhere, NII Holdings, which sells Nextel mobile phone services in Latin America, said it would be restructuring operations and reassigning positions at its Reston headquarters to locations closer to its customers. The company said it would cut about 20 percent of its jobs in Reston; NII employs about 330 people in the Washington area.

That was just Tuesday.

A day earlier we learned that San Diego-based Kratos Defense and Security Solutions planned to cut 125 jobs in Lanham starting Dec. 30, according to a report in the Baltimore Business Journal. The paper said the layoffs would be in the company’s Integral Systems office.

Businesses throughout the region have been resizing themselves, building their reserves as they await some clarity on government spending and the direction of the economy.

Last week’s drip-drip-drip of job loss warnings suggests they are not done yet.

beyersd@washpost.com

Dan Beyers is the founding editor of Capital Business, The Washington Post’s go-to source for news about the region’s business community.
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