Layoffs Threaten at Big Mobile Firms

So about the proposed mega-takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T: Will is result in an equally huge loss of American telecom jobs? Yes, no and maybe. Hoping for $3 billion in cost savings, AT&T acknowledges there will be “natural attrition.” But some analysts say there’ll have to be headcount reductions, with one contending that half of the jobs lost will be through layoffs. Back-office workers are the most likely to find themselves redundant. Today T-Mobile has 37,795 employees, while AT&T has 266,590, 56 percent of whom are unionized.

Weekly Roundup: Layoffs Threaten at Big Mobile Firms Like AT&T and Nokia

And what of Nokia, which is abandoning its own OS in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone mobile OS? At the end of April, the company will start talks with employees about “substantial” job cuts, although no specifics have been mentioned. In order to calm nerves in Finland, CEO Jorma Ollila said, “this is global restructuring of our product development, so it is not only about Finland.” That means it’s about the U.S. as well.

About 50 miles northwest of Charlotte, N.C., is the tiny town of Maiden, where Apple is building a 500,000-square foot data center. So far, Apple hasn’t said what, specifically, it will be used for (and therefore who will be hired to work there). The company has made vague moises about it supporting iTunes and MobileMe, and analysts speculate that may indicate scaled up media marketplace and advertising, cloud-based synchronization and digital locker service, cheaper video services, or the introduction of a voice interface and navigation service.

How will you find your next job? Perhaps by looking at a billboard. Groupon is the latest West Coast employer to go old school and use outdoor ads to drum up interest in its job openings. The rapidly growing service is hoping to hire over 100 developers and technologists in Palo Alto this year, with experts in data, analytics, networking, mathematics, and Ruby on Rails needed. Groupon currently has 2,000 employees at its Chicago headquarters offices and another 3,000 in affiliate offices around the world.

More from Silicon Valley: Social and mobile media startups continue to be red hot. GroupMe, Instagram, Path, Color, and Yobongo are just some of the smartphone-based social apps that have raked in West Coast venture capital in recent months. While behenoths like Twitter and Facebook continue to rise in virtual value, these niche players are riding the wave of social media excitement. Executives are saying it’s not a crazy boom.

Then there’s Detroit, where the auto industry is trying to get Silicon Valley engineers to at least take a look at opportunities there. Ford and other companies need expertise in cloud computing, mobile software applications and energy management, and there isn’t enough local talent to fill all the slots.

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