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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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February 20, 2009 4:43 PM

Microsoft employment increased slightly in January; layoffs to be reflected in later figures

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft released local and worldwide employment figures for January, showing that it brought hiring to a near-halt last month as it announced companywide layoffs for the first time.

Worldwide, Microsoft added 115 employees in January, bringing its global full-time work force to 95,943. That's an increase of about one-tenth of a percent from Dec. 31.

The majority of the staff it brought on -- 75 people -- were in the Puget Sound region, where it had 41,555 at the end of January, up about two-tenths of a percent.

The figures don't reflect the layoffs Microsoft announced Jan. 23. The company notified 1,400 people that day, 872 of them in the Puget Sound area. Many were given 60-days notice, so the layoffs will likely show up in March figures. The company also announced plans last month to trim up to another 3,600 positions over 18 months, while also hiring 2,000 to 3,000 people in specific areas.

And, in fact, the company has continued to post job openings on its career site.

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