More than 1,300 California jobs--the highest total for any state--are among the 24,000 positions being eliminated nationwide by AT&T in the retrenchment of its Information Systems division.
In the first state-by-state details that AT&T has provided since its massive cutback was announced last month, the company identified the locations of only about 10,500 of its planned job reductions. Thus, California's job loss could rise when the company identifies further cutbacks later this year.
The lost jobs announced Tuesday, including about 700 in the Los Angeles area, represent about 14% of the 9,600 California employees of AT&T's Information Systems division, which makes and sells computers and office equipment.
Altogether, AT&T has 28,000 employees in the state.
AT&T said that all but 275 of the 1,334 affected California jobs will be in "non-management." Most of those will be service technicians and clerical and other support personnel based at numerous offices or operating out of their homes around the state.
In New York, 1,310 of 7,189 jobs are being eliminated, and in New Jersey, 1,074 of 11,700, the company said. Other states hard hit by the job cuts are Colorado with 660, Florida with 903, Pennsylvania with 519 and Texas with 679.
More than 117,000 people are employed nationwide by AT&T Information Systems, which is based in Morristown, N.J. The consolidation and cost-cutting move, the AT&T division said, was necessitated by highly competitive market conditions.
The layoffs were originally announced Aug. 21. Spokeswoman Kathy Coulahan said the jobs least likely to be affected by the layoffs are in sales, research and development and in the computer division.
Of the 24,000 positions being cut, about 7,500 have already been eliminated through attrition and transfers to other jobs, Coulahan said. The approximately 10,500 identified Tuesday leave about 6,000 still to be identified. An official in AT&T's Oakland office said it isn't known how many of those remaining cuts might occur in California.
When the original announcement was made, Information Systems Chairman Robert E. Allen said the company hoped to save millions of dollars each year in its communications products division to make the highly competitive business more profitable.
"Sales of new products at Information Systems are up across all of the competitive markets we serve," Allen said. "Now we must strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve profitability."
Coulahan said: "That's not to say there won't be layoffs in those areas, they'll just be affected less than others. They're obviously more vital to our future."
Information Systems primarily designs, manufactures and sells telephone equipment. Unlike AT&T Communications, the long-distance telephone company, it is not regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. The unit also makes computers