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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

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.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 5 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.