IBM says that it laid off more than 15,000 employees--about 5 percent of its workforce--in second quarter 2002. The company disclosed the layoffs--almost twice as many as it had previously predicted--this week in a routine filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company said that most of the layoffs (about 14,200) came from its global services unit. "We are constantly making adjustments to the work force as skills and customers demand," an IBM spokesperson said back in May, when the company predicted 8000 layoffs.
IBM attributed the layoffs to cost-cutting measures required by the "recent decline in corporate spending on technology services" and said that it "hoped to drive productivity and efficiency throughout the company." The company said it cut workers from IBM plants in Encinitas, California; Lowell, Massachusetts; Endicott and East Fishkill, New York; Raleigh, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Burlington, Vermont. IBM still has more than 300,000 employees worldwide. Interestingly, next month IBM will see its employee ranks jump by 30,000 workers when it completes its acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting division.