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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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January 22, 2009 2:11 PM

872 local Microsoft jobs gone in first wave of cuts, 2 percent of local work force

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft released more specific figures on its local work force and how they will be affected by the first company-wide layoffs. A spokesman confirmed that 872 local jobs were cut, part of 1,400 positions gone today across the company. It's not clear yet how up to 3,600 additional job cuts -- for a total of up to 5,000 -- will fall as they're made over the next 18 months. (Microsoft also plans to add 2,000 to 3,000 positions, so the net job losses will be smaller.)

As of Dec. 31, Microsoft had 41,480 full-time employees locally, up 1.6 percent from the 40,797 full-time workers the company had here on Sept. 30, 2008. The 872 job cuts represent 2.1 percent of Microsoft;s local full-time work force.

Globally, Microsoft put the brakes on hiring in the latter months of 2008, particularly in December as it watched the economy deteriorate more rapidly. The company added only 164 positions that month, bringing its global staff to 95,828.

There are many thousands more who work for Microsoft indirectly as contractors and vendors. Microsoft does not provide numbers for its contract staff, but analyst Sid Parakh at McAdams Wright Ragen said he estimates the figure to be between 40,000 to 60,000. Microsoft said it will cut spending on contractors by up to 15 percent, on top of the full-time job cuts.

More coverage of Microsoft's cost-cutting

Microsoft laying off 1,400 today, up to 5,000 in next 18 months

Ballmer's e-mail to employees
Majority of cuts to be in Redmond; total reduction is roughly 3 percent
Contractor spending could be cut up to 15 percent
Attention turns to what groups will see cuts
Gregoire calls layoffs "disheartening"

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