Scotland feels pinch from computer recession

Scotland feels pinch from computer recession
David Manners Scotland is beginning to suffer from the worldwide downturn in the computer and semiconductor industries. Already this month National Semiconductor has announced two interruptions to production at its wafer fab in Greenock which employs 1,600 people. The first was a one week shut-down over Easter when staff either had to take holidays or receive the statutory payment due if they didn’t have outstanding entitlement. The second was to announce a similar shut-down between July 4 and 18. Also this month, Compaq laid off 200 temporary workers citing a seasonal drop in demand. Also blaming a worldwide computer industry recession was Fullarton Computer Industries which axed 338 jobs, representing 25 per cent of its workforce, at its Gourock, Strathclyde site earlier this month. That was on top of a further 250 laid off last month at another Fullarton site in Ayrshire. According to the most recent Dataquest report, the growth of the PC industry is expected to slump from 27 per cent in 1997 to 16 per cent in 1998. Meanwhile, Texas Instruments said it expected to see growth in the chip industry this year of only 5 per cent. This time last year, Dataquest was projecting 22 to 25 per cent growth for the chip industry in 1998. Earlier this month, Intel which supplies over 90 per cent of the world’s PCs with microprocessors, said it would reduce its employee-count by 3,000.


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