Cisco to hire new employees in the coming months

February 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
There was good news for the Silicon Valley and perhaps the rest of the country. Technology industry bellwether Cisco Systems of San Jose announced Thursday that for the quarter ending Jan. 23, its profits increased more than 23 percent to $1.9 billion from the same period a year ago.

Cisco says that translates into more jobs, specifically 2,000 to 3,000 openings over the coming months. In contrast, the company last year cut jobs because of the economic recession which affected its business customers.

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers said in a statement, "The figures exceeded our expectations and we believe they provide a clear indication that we are entering the second phase of the economic recovery."

"Each month, we hear the unemployment numbers are going up and we're seeing fewer and fewer people, particularly mature workers, finding jobs," says Camille Grabowski, a job seeker.

"It is difficult to find enough opportunity for me to even have contract work at this point," says Linda Walker-Watson, a job seeker.

Grabowski and Walker-Watson are enrolled in NOVA, a job search and training program in the South Bay. So for their group, the good news from Cisco Systems was encouraging.

The company is San Jose's biggest employer. It is the world's largest supplier of routers -- equipment which connects to the Internet. The recent profits from the last quarter even caught company executives by surprise.

Cisco says all of this means the company, which cut jobs last year, will be hiring up to 3,000 workers in its worldwide operations. The news could not have come at a better time for San Jose. Its unemployment rate hovers near 12 percent.

Lawson believes this is an indication the job market in the Silicon Valley is starting to pick up. Tech vendors who were hammered by the recession are starting to spend money on new technologies.

Steve Lawson, senior correspondent for IDG News Service told ABC7 that he believes the job market overall will improve and Cisco's numbers are representative of that trend.

"Tech vendors do rebound with the rest of the economy because companies that are in other businesses that are starting to sell more and are starting to do better, have the resources at last to reinvest," he said.

Some in this job search program have already noticed more openings in recent months.

"I've known some people who have recently gone back to work and that's always very encouraging and I hope I'm one of them soon," says Pat Furagganan, a job seeker.

Recently, several high tech companies, such as IBM and Intel, have announced an increase in sales. Hopefully, that will translate into new jobs.