Labor Dept.: IBM laid off 419 in Vt. - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Labor Dept.: IBM laid off 419 in Vt.

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

"A layoff of this magnitude is bigger than what we see with other employers," Vt. Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said.

As of one of Vermont's largest employers, the number of people laid off from IBM last month was information everyone wanted to know, including the governor.

"My own view, my own advice to IBM would be: listen, you're very important to the state of Vermont, but I wish that you would peel the Band-Aid off this one and just give us the number because I do not believe that it's in IBM's interest or in the state's interest to be withholding that infrastructure," Shumlin, D-Vermont, said Wednesday.

Big Blue was required to provide details of the mass layoff to the state 24 hours after all the layoffs were final last Friday, but said disclosing the total to the public could cause competitive harm to the company.

"The governor called on them to be as transparent as possible and they responded to the governor's call," Noonan said.

The Labor Department gave IBM until noon Thursday to provide legal justification for withholding the information. IBM dropped its objection, disclosing that 419 people lost their jobs.

Reporter Gina Bullard: What kind of impact is this going to have on Vermont's labor market?

Annie Noonan: We're still in a good position in that we've got low unemployment and in Chittenden Country it is the sixth lowest rate in the nation.

The Labor Department says it's had a lot of success with the job fairs and rapid response training-- all paid for with federal money-- that it has done so far.

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