IBM Japan provided a boost in the arm for Japan's IT employment market with the announcement Thursday that it plans to hire as many as 9,000 new systems engineers and support staff over the next three years to cope with its expanding Internet service business.
"As our service business continues to grow, we are enhancing our work force," said June Namioka, a spokeswoman at IBM Japan in Tokyo. The company has yet to make a final decision on exactly how many people will be recruited, but it has a rough target of 3,000 people per year for the next three years at the company and its joint ventures and subsidiaries, said the spokeswoman.
The announcement came as welcome news in a week that saw Toshiba unveil plans to layoff 17,000 domestic workers over the next three years and the government announce the national unemployment rate has risen to a post-war record high of 5 percent. Both Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp. have also announced layoffs and restructuring in the last month and Hitachi Ltd. is expected to follow with its restructuring plan in the next two weeks.
Underlining the expansion of its services business, IBM Japan also announced Thursday that it plans to open a 10 billion yen (US$83.3 million) Internet data center just outside of Tokyo in Makuhari, Chiba prefecture. The center, which will begin operations in September, will be IBM Japan's second data center in the country.