Its official: the tech sector is not immune to the current economic crisis.

Tech firms laid off a whopping 84,217 employees last quarter, , up 27 percent from 66,312 in the previous quarter — the largest quarterly job-cut tally in seven years, a new report shows, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In total, the tech sector accounted for 14.6 percent of the layoffs announced during the first quarter, up from 12.7 percent of all announced layoffs in 2008.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas splits the tech sector into three broad categories: telecom, computer and electronics.

“Unfortunately, no industry appears to be immune in this recession,” said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in a statement.

“Even the health-care sector, which has consistently added jobs throughout the downturn, is starting to see those gains shrink. And continued job creation in the federal government is being offset by large-scale losses at the state and local level, due largely to a rapidly deteriorating tax base … when all these sectors make cutbacks, it inevitably impacts the technology sector.”

Not surprisingly, Challenger, Gray & Christmas doesn’t expect things to get much better anytime soon, citing a recent Forrester Research study which shows that IT spending will drop 3.1 percent this year.

On the bright side, tech-sector job cuts still aren’t as bad as they were during the dot-com bust in the late 1990’s.