IBM layoffs continue

A published report claims that International Business Machines will pink-slip “a large number” of American employees in the supersize corporation’s global-business services unit.

This is despite IBM’s 12 per cent gain in fourth-quarter earnings, and thousands of job cuts so far this year.

IBM earned nearly US$4.5 billion in the final quarter of 2008. But that hasn’t sheltered the company from the ubiquitous trend toward cost-cutting.

So far, details are sketchy on a rough body count of the planned reductions. IBM employs nearly 400,000 people in 170 countries, of whom 115,000 are in the U.S. The global business services group is IBM’s largest by far, with a headcount around 180,000. In February, IBM offered laid-off U.S. employees a chance to move to overseas regional divisions and work there at local wages.

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