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Last Updated: Monday, 19 January, 2004, 10:11 GMT
IBM speeds up its recruiting
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Computer giant IBM is to hire 15,000 new employees in key areas such as software development, it has announced.

The company, which last week reported a doubling in profits, said 4,500 of the new positions would be in the US.

IBM expects demand for computers to grow in 2004 for the first time in three years.

The recruitment drive will increase the firm's employee headcount to 330,000, its highest level since 1991, said IBM director Randy McDonald.

Home and abroad

Most of the new positions will be created in developing economies such as China and India, where the company is already exporting 3,000 US jobs in an effort to cut costs.

But IBM stressed it was not turning its back on the US.

"We are going to hire more in the US than we shift overseas," said Mr MacDonald, senior vice president for human resources.

The 15,000 new jobs will come in what IBM has described as "hot" sectors - software for doing business over the internet, services to support wireless technology, and the growing Linux operating system, an alternative to Microsoft's Windows product.

Last week, IBM reported its that fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled, beating Wall Street expectations.

Confidence

In the last three months of 2003, IBM earned $2.7bn, on revenues of $25.9bn.

The firm believes that the information technology sector is poised to recover after three years of sluggish growth.

"We're bullish on the whole IT market in 2004," said Garrett Walker, the group's director of strategic resource management.




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