The market for hiring technical talent is red hot right now, with companies offering bounties and special perks for the best-and-brightest minds. But even amid the hot market, one of the most aggressive recruiters in technology has reduced its headcount.

According to the search giant’s latest quarterly report, staffing at the company has dropped to 53,546 for the period ended September 30th. (36,118 in the Google business and 17,428 in the Motorola business). That’s down from 54,604 for the period ended in June.

Presumably, many of those cutbacks are occurring in Google’s Motorola unit, though no explanation was given for the drop in the recent quarterly news release. Google has an earnings call scheduled today from 1:30 p.m.

Google employs about 1,000 people in the Seattle area, with offices split between Kirkland and Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.

As we reported earlier, Google surprised Wall Street today by issuing its earnings report earlier than expected, sending shares down nearly 10 percent.

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