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IBM dumps over 2,000 US employees in latest round of cuts

IBM has laid off more than 1,600 US workers in a new round of job cuts, according to an employee advocacy organisation.

As of Friday, 2,286 IBM workers across multiple business units had been laid off, according to Alliance@IBM, which is keeping track of the cuts as it receives severance documents from affected workers. The downsizing includes 222 employees in the software marketing group, 165 workers from semiconductor research and development, and 137 from management.

"Change is constant in the technology industry and transformation is an essential feature of our business model," IBM said when asked about the cuts. "Consequently, some level of workforce remix is a constant requirement for our business."

IBM declined to provide any details about the latest round of cuts, adding that "we do not publicly discuss the details of staffing plans."

The move is part of a billion-dollar, worldwide restructuring plan announced in April following IBM's disappointing first-quarter financial results, according to Bloomberg. The layoffs will affect almost all IBM divisions in every location, including outposts in Austin, Texas and New York's Hudson Valley, Alliance@IBM coordinator Lee Conrad told the news outlet.

IBM in April said the layoffs would mostly affect overseas workers, and be largely complete by the end of June. At this point, the company has cut 128 jobs in Denmark, 250 in Italy, and 700 in Germany, Bloomberg reports.

Based on the $1 billion (£639 million) cost figure, IBM will likely cut 6,000 to 8,000 jobs globally, or less than two per cent of its workforce of more than 434,000, Oracle Investment Research analyst Laurence Balter estimated, according to Bloomberg.

IBM's US workforce has been dwindling every year since at least 2005, according to Alliance@IBM. In 2005, IBM employed more than 133,000 people, and by 2009 — the last year IBM disclosed its US head count — that number had dropped to 105,000. Alliance@IBM estimates that IBM's American workforce totalled 91,000 last year.

Meanwhile, IBM unfortunately isn't the only company handing out pink slips this week. Security giant Symantec may lay off as many as 1,700 employees, according to AllThingsD, citing sources familiar with the company's plans. The cuts at Symantec are part of a reorganisation announced in January under new CEO Steve Bennett.