Dell Technologies, one of Ireland’s biggest private sector employers, has said it plans to lay off about 5pc of its global workforce as it struggles with a slump in the personal computer market and braces for a potential recession. It will mean about 6,500 job losses worldwide.

The technology giant employs around 5,000 people In Ireland at its sites in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

The company has not provided any guidance so far on how many jobs are at risk here. A 5pc reduction in Irish jobs would see around 250 people lose their jobs.

In a memo to staff Dell joint chief operating officer, Jeff Clarke, said the company is experiencing market conditions that “continue to erode with an uncertain future.

“Unfortunately, with changes like this, some members of our team will be leaving the company.

“There is no tougher decision, but one we had to make for our long-term health and success. Please know we’ll support those impacted as they transition to their next opportunities,” he wrote.

The decision to cut job numbers follows earlier moves within Dell that included a pause on external hiring, limiting travel and reducing outside services spend.

In a statement, Mr Clarke said: “We continuously evaluate operations to ensure the right structure is in place to provide the best value and support to partners and customers. This is part of our regular course of business.”

The latest cuts come as demand for new computers has slumped after shooting up during the Covid pandemic as people rushed to equip themselves for remote work and remote schooling.

The cuts announced by Dell are part of a wave of job losses seen across the technology sector over the past six months.

In recent weeks Microsoft has announced that it would cut 5pc of its total workforce – a figure that equates to 10,000 posts, Google has said it would lay off 12,000 people, which is around 6pc of the company’s global workforce, Salesforce is aiming to let go around 200 people in Ireland as part of its decision to lay off around 10pc of all staff and Hubspot, which has a large Dublin office, announced that it would be cutting 500 jobs from its global workforce.

High-profile job losses late last year included Twitter as the social media company aggressively cut costs following Elon Musk’s $44bn (€41bn) takeover, and Stripe, the Collison brothers’ digital payments firm, which reduced its headcount by about 14pc to 7,000 employees.

The last time Dell announced large-scale layoffs was when it shifted manufacturing from its Limerick plant to Poland in 2009, resulting in more than 2,000 jobs being lost including some in Dublin, but mostly in Limerick.

The loss of well-paid manufacturing jobs had a huge impact on the mid-west region when Ireland was already reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis and the Irish property bust.

However, since that low Dell has expanded in Ireland with large numbers of non-manufacturing jobs in Limerick, and in Dublin and Cork.

Dell now employs more people here, at typically higher pay, than before it shifted its factory to Poland. One of its former facilities in Limerick is now Troy Studio, a large-scale film production site.

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