IBM layoffs hit Rochester

March 4, 2012 by  

Technology pioneer IBM may have laid off almost 700 workers across America, including 160 jobs in rochester according to industry insiders.

Sources have only estimated the number of laid off workers. IBM has not offered comment, which historically has been its practice when releasing employees. IBM refers to layoffs as

“resource actions.”

“These cuts, like before, start out low and then build as we gather information,” said Lee Conrad, a spokesman for Alliance@IBM in the state of New York.

Conrad said he believes more layoffs could come in the days ahead. When a large number of layoffs occur in a community, print services often see a spike in printing as the newly unemployed brush up their resumes or do business card printing as they enter the entrepreneurial world.

Rumor has it that American jobs with IBM are being moved across the ocean to the Orient or Slovakia.

It is a common belief in the business community that IBM is the second biggest employer in Rochester, next to the Mayo Clinic. At the end of 2008 it is estimated that 4,200 people in Rochester worked at IBM.

IBM spokesman Doug Shelton, IBM in a prepared statement said:

“IBM is constantly re-balancing its work force. That means reducing in some areas and hiring in others, based on shifts in technology and client demand. And given the competitive nature of our business, we do not publicly discuss the details of our staffing plans.”

Talk of pending layoffs has been swirling for years, and for one North Carolina, IBM 14-year veteran, who spoke to the Austin News on condition of anonymity, the axe finally falling felt almost like relief.

“The constant worry about layoffs has been in the air for at least the past eight years,” said the employee.