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IBM Issues Statement On Report Of Moving Jobs Overseas

IBM declined comment Monday on a report that it planned to move the work of several thousand programmers overseas, but said that on a percentage basis, the company expects its "hiring across the Americas to outpace the hiring in the rest of the world."

In a statement, the Armonk, N.Y., company did not confirm or deny a Wall Street Journal report on Monday that said IBM planned to send the work of as many as 4,730 programmers to India, China and elsewhere. The newspaper said it was one of the largest moves to send U.S. software jobs offshore.

According to IBM documents viewed by the Wall Street Journal, the company planned to replace workers at IBM facilities in Southbury, Conn.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Raleigh, N.C.; Dallas; Boulder, Colo.; and elsewhere in the U.S.. Managers had already been told that IBM had hired 500 engineers in India to take on some of the work that would be moved overseas, the newspaper said.

"While we do not comment on internal presentations or projections, the vast majority of the growth in application services that will occur in markets like India, China and Latin America will result from winning new contracts, especially in high-growth areas like Business Transformation Outsourcing," IBM said in the statement issued Monday. "We expect our hiring next year in the U.S. to equal or increase over 2003 levels. In fact, on a percentage basis, our forecast is for hiring across the Americas to outpace the hiring in the rest of the world."

The newspaper said IBM's plans were still under development and would take place in stages over a number of months.

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