A labor group, the Alliance@IBM, said that more than 4,000 IBM employees have been laid off in recent months. IBM won't confirm those figures, but said any cuts are part of an ongoing shift in business. A spokesman for the union said that some employees have been offered jobs in Dubuque, but the union was unsure exactly how many had received offers.
IT services providers have been turning to relatively rural areas to cut costs. Perot Systems in Plano, Texas, for instance, last fall announced it was adding 90 jobs to a services center it has in Bowling Green, Ky., bringing employment at that site up to 300.
According to the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center Online Wage Library, whose prevailing wage data is used by companies that hire H-1B workers, an entry-level computer programmer job in Des Moines starts at around $42,800. That same job in the Newark, N.J., area would begin at $55,000.
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