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IBM to hire even more new workers

By the end of the year, the computing giant plans to have its biggest headcount since 1991.

IBM has boosted its hiring plans for this year, raising its forecast for new employees worldwide to 18,000, the company said on Thursday.

The company expects its headcount to be 330,000 by the end of the year, which will put it at its highest level since 1991.

At the beginning of the year, IBM expected that it would add about 10,000 employees. It later raised that amount to 15,000. On Thursday, Big Blue disclosed that strong demand from its professional services business has prompted the company to boost that number to 18,000. Those hires are exclusive of acquisitions.

"We see real demand in the marketplace," IBM spokesman Clint Roswell said. "Some of our competitors don't see that demand. But it might be about execution."

Hewlett-Packard, one of IBM's largest rivals, on Thursday reported that its third-quarter earnings had fallen short of analysts' expectations. HP cited weakness in its server and storage business units. It also said that its fourth-quarter earnings will come in lower than analysts had projected.

Roswell said that IBM's practice of internal training has allowed it to redeploy U.S. employees whose jobs have been moved as part of the company's overseas hiring plans. About one-third of new hires this year will be in the United States.

Three weeks ago, IBM said that its plans to move some jobs offshore will result in fewer U.S. layoffs than it had originally anticipated. Initially, the company had projected that about 3,000 U.S. jobs would move overseas. A source close to IBM in July said that the number would be closer to 2,000.