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IBM layoffs pass 3,000, says labor group

Uncertainty over how much higher the latest round of job cuts will go

IBM's latest round of job cuts, a series of layoff actions that began over a week ago, has passed the 3,000 mark.

That's according to the Alliance@IBM, which has been working to organize IBM employees for years.

Lee Conrad, the national organizer of the IBM Alliance, said he wasn't certain how much further the cuts would go. The hardest hit units were IBM's Systems and Technology Group, and its software operation.

IBM doesn't comment on its job actions, except in the most general terms. It rarely announces layoffs. The company does lay off workers with some regularity, describing such actions as a "rebalancing" or "remixing."

The overall size of IBM's U.S. workforce has been declining for years while its global headcount has been on the rise.

The latest round of cuts does include workers in other countries, including China and Brazil, according to various reports.

The last time that IBM publicly disclosed the size of its U.S. workforce was in late 2009, when it reported 105,000 U.S. workers. IBM's U.S. workforce was reported at 121,000 in 2007 and higher in earlier years.

The alliance estimates IBM's U.S. workforce today at about 91,000, though the number can't be confirmed.

The company employed more than 434,000 worldwide at the end of fiscal year 2012.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His email address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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