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IBM's India Hiring Binge Continues

The work force at International Business Machines Corp. grew 8 percent in 2006, with most of the rise coming in India, where the technology company has been on a hiring binge in recent years.

The figures were disclosed Tuesday in IBM's annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. IBM noted that at the end of 2006 it employed 355,766 people, up from 329,373 one year earlier.

Its base in India was 52,000 people -- up from 36,000 one year earlier. Three years earlier, IBM had just 9,000 people there, before the company dramatically stepped up its efforts to lower costs by doing more software development, services work and customer support from India.

That makes India the second-largest center for IBM, trailing only the United States, where IBM's work force rose slightly to 127,000. India is so key to IBM that Chairman and Chief Executive Sam Palmisano held his annual analysts' briefing there last June rather than in the traditional location of New York.

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