Despite rumors of a massive imminent job cut planned by troubled network company Cisco Systems, 2011 has actually been a fairly benign year for high-tech employees.

According to a recent report by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, electronics, computers and telecommunications companies in the U.S. laid off about 14,000 people in the first half of 2011, a 60 plunge from the 35,375 who got pink slips in the first six months of last year.

California, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington and New York has suffered the largest share of fired high-tech employees.

Challenger noted that the pace of high-tech layoffs has been relatively flat all year, with an average of 2,400 jobs being eliminated each monthly.

Better yet, high-tech firms are adding far more workers than they are letting go.

Challenger indicated that the computer, electronics and telecommunications industries have unveiled plans to hire 25,463 workers this year, compared to laying off 14,308.

However, information technology (IT) employees who work in other fields -- including government, retail, aerospace and financial services -- are still losing jobs by the buckets.

Challenger cited that such job cuts are up 241 percent in the aerospace industry, 18.5 percent in the financial services industry, and 28 percent in the industrial goods sector, versus the first six months of last year.

“Most of the layoffs this year are due to companies cutting costs, closing operations or restructuring their businesses,” Challenger explained.

Cisco is reportedly going to lay off up to 10,000 of its workers, 7,000 by the end of next month, 3,000 through early retirement. The 10K figure would represent about 14 percent of its total workforce, quite a hefty chunk.