If you thought the tech sector was finally out of the woods and recovering from the global spending slowdown, think again: hardware manufacturer MSI could be about to lay off up to 20 percent of its staff early next year.

According to industry sources quoted by DigiTimes - via Maximum PC - MSI is looking to counter the spending slowdown by trimming staff in its netbook, notebook, and graphics card departments.

For those fond of MSI's motherboards, there is good news - that particular business unit is apparently safe from the cuts, which will see no fewer than 10 percent and up to a maximum of 20 percent of the overall workforce fired.

Interestingly, the industry sources claim that MSI isn't actually making the posts redundant: instead, the company is concentrating on removing under-performing workers from inefficient business units, meaning that at least some of the posts will be open for new applicants to boost the workforce back up again.

The layoffs - which MSI denies - are allegedly set to take place some time in January next year, with staff permitted a last financially sound Christmas before heading for the dole queue.

Should the rumours prove true, the layoffs will cap something of a disastrous year for the tech sector: throughout 2009 companies from Google to Sega have trimmed their workforce drastically, with Nokia shedding a whopping 1,700 jobs back in March to counter the effects of lessened consumer spending. We can only hope that 2010 sees a reversal of this sad trend.

Addendum 30th November 2009: MSI contacted us to say it strongly denies these rumours about job losses, but would not comment further.

Do you think there is any truth to the rumours, or is MSI perfectly situated to ride out the financial storm with its fingers in so many technology pies? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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