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IBM's logo appears on the side of a building in Poland. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

IBM announced layoffs Friday to its global force of approximately 350,000 workers, as a massive pandemic-inspired worldwide recession continues to take a toll on employment.

By the numbers: IBM won't say how many employees are being given notice in the cut, which was first reported by Bloomberg, but according to the Wall Street Journal the layoffs will hit several thousand workers.

The big picture: Layoffs in tech have already hit hard in digital media, startups and the gig economy. IBM's move is a sign that the downturn won't spare the large enterprise sector, either.

  • Hewlett-Packard Enterprise also foreshadowed job cuts in giving guidance as part of its earnings report on Thursday.

Our thought bubble: IBM's global consulting business is particularly vulnerable to the business downturn. Many companies in times of austerity will try to avoid laying off their own workers by instead cutting back on the kind of big upgrades and reorganizations that IBM specializes in managing.

What they're saying: "IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix to high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business," said Edward Barbini, IBM VP of corporate communications, adding that the company would subsidize medical coverage for laid-off workers through June 2021.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Aug 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

The pandemic's toll on older workers

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo by Bettmann/Getty Contributor.

The pandemic threatens to chip away at employment among workers over the age of 55 — an increasingly important part of the U.S. labor force.

Why it matters: As the world ages, the older population has become key to economic growth, both as workers and as consumers.

Scammers seize on COVID confusion

Data: FTC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Scamming has skyrocketed in the past year, and much of the increase is attributed to COVID-related scams, more recently around vaccines.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a prime opportunity for scammers to target people who are already confused about the chaotic rollouts of things like stimulus payments, loans, contact tracing and vaccines. Data shows that older people who aren't digitally literate are the most vulnerable.

12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.