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  (Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC)
Chinese unit is expected to be spared; remaining workers are pressured to "work harder"

Soon, approximately 27,000 workers at Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) will be out of the job -- almost 8 percent of the company's total staff of 324,000.

HP surprised with better than expected earnings for fiscal Q2 2012, announcing revenue of $30.7B USD, more than the analyst consensus of $29.9B USD.  Profit checked in at $2.3B USD ($1.05 USD/share), more than the $1.02 USD/share analysts predicted.  Optimism in the stronger-than-expected performance was tempered by estimates for the next quarter, which were lower than analysts expected, amid a slump on sales of printers, data-center equipment, and services.

The HP layoff program will be gradually implemented as part of a restructuring that wraps up by October 2014.  The layoffs will be the largest in the company's 73-year history.  News of the painful layoffs leaked last week.

HP has not revealed a precise timeline for when the job cuts will occur, within the 2012-2014 restructuring windows.  However, sources indicate that most of the cuts will likely come in the U.S. and Europe, while the company's Chinese unit -- a major growth target -- will largely be spared.

Meg Whitman
Meg Whitman is thinning the herd at HP, hoping to get the same amount of work out of less engineers. [Image Source: towleroad]

Remaining employees will have to pick up the slack for their departed co-workers under former eBay, Inc. (EBAY) CEO and new HP CEO Meg Whitman's vision for the company.  Still a bit of a silver-lining to this cloudy news is that Ms. Whitman did indicate that some of the $3.5B USD saved would be reinvested in working towards restoring HP Labs to its former glory.

Long a bastion of electronics industry research, HP Labs has continued to do novel work, such as inventing the memristor -- a long theorized circuit element, which could lead to new cheaper, more power-efficient kinds of storage.  However, the cutbacks have forced the star institution to operate on a shoestring budget, raising questions of whether HP will be able to continue to attract top talent.  The situation is so bad at HP Labs, according to The New York Times, that researchers are forced to use pirated software for their day-to-day work.

HP's deep cuts are bad news for its employees -- and U.S. engineers in general who will face greater competition in the jobs market.  However, they're hardly out of place in a post-recession U.S., where many companies have learned that they can boost profits by squeezing the same amount of work out of fewer employees.  That philosphy has helped to stifle job recovery, even as GDP growth has slowly come back to life post-recession.

Sources: Market Watch, Bloomberg, USA Today



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Buy American?
By Church of Dirac on 5/23/2012 5:28:41 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
However, sources indicate that most of the cuts will likely come in the U.S. and Europe, while the company's Chinese unit -- a major growth target -- will largely be spared.


Of course they will cut the American and Euro workers since they actually have to pay them a decent wage. I just don't see the point in supporting these so called "American" companies any more through tax cuts, etc. The only thing being stimulated here are the executive's bank accounts.




RE: Buy American?
By CountZero on 5/23/2012 5:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Some of them will be backfilled with lower cost employees to paraphrase their statement.

Also the majority of the ~$3.3B in savings will be reinvested in R&D to support cloud, networks, and data but no word on geographies for the reinvestment.

My take away is that cuts are coming, lots of them, nearly everything not in China will be impacted, engineers are less likely to feel the brunt if they are part of enterprise R&D but no one is 100% safe.


RE: Buy American?
By KCjoker on 5/23/2012 6:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well let's continue to keep our corporate tax rate higher than most countries and we'll continue to see more layoffs here.


RE: Buy American?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/23/2012 6:21:47 PM , Rating: 1
Oh rly?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/09/corporate...
quote:
Instead of giving money to the government, it turns out more than a few U.S. companies are actually making money off their income taxes.

In a recent report by the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 26 of 30 Fortune 500 companies examined had negative income tax rates on profits made in the U.S. between 2008 and 2011 (h/t Think Progress).


http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/03/news/economy/corpo...
quote:
The report issued by Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy paints the corporate tax code as wildly inefficient, filled with loopholes and subject to the influence of lobbyists who carve out special provisions for the companies they represent.
The study looked at 280 companies in the Fortune 500 that were profitable for all three years between 2008 and 2010.
The results: 111 companies paid effective tax rates of less than 17.5% over the three-year period; 98 paid a rate between 17.5% and 30%; and 71 paid more than 30%.
The average rate? 18.5%.


http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/
quote:
30 Companies average less than zero tax bill in the last three Years, 78 had at least one no-tax year.


http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/are-t...
quote:
the United States actually has the lowest corporate tax burden of any of the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


But I'm sure you know more than New York Times columnists and economists, right?

Individual taxpayers in the "99 percent category" typically pay 25-30+ percent. Small to midsize businesses pay 30-35 percent. Corporations paid in 2011 (effectively) 18.5 percent.

Oh poor corporations, how sad of them having to pay a minor fraction of their massive profits compared to what their smaller competitors and individuals pay. Yes, how unfair.

Interesting what happens when you have two parties who supposedly "disagree" on petty social issues, but whose presidential and Congressional candidates both take hundreds of millions in payouts from corporate special interests to get elected.

Seems like they can agree on something after all, fortunately the public is too apathetic to take note of the financial hood and noose being placed over their heads.

Don't cry when your job get shipped overseas, praise the glorious corporate machine.


RE: Buy American?
By Ammohunt on 5/23/2012 10:46:18 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously you are linking a Huffington post article? 2008-2010 friends of Obama companies did really well…


RE: Buy American?
By MGSsancho on 5/24/2012 7:06:20 AM , Rating: 2
If your going to complain about his sources, complain about all of his sources.


RE: Buy American?
By Nfarce on 5/24/2012 12:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote: Instead of giving money to the government, it turns out more than a few U.S. companies are actually making money off their income taxes. - Huff&Puff


Well yeah, because our government is so fiscally responsible with its money and has regulations like corporations to deal with in fiscal responsibility.

quote:
The average rate? 18.5%. -CNN


And taxing them at what, 40%, 50%, will bring jobs back? What's the number Jason? What's the magic corporate tax rate that will make things "happen" again?

quote:
quote: the United States actually has the lowest corporate tax burden of any of the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. - CTJ


Well it's all in the perspective:

http://www.businessinsider.com/ireland-bound-eaton...

Keep raising them taxes and watch those jobs come right back!

quote:
Individual taxpayers in the "99 percent category" typically pay 25-30+ percent.


Half of those "99%" pay next to nothing after tax breaks like the EIC while the top 25% pays nearly 90%:

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.ht...

quote:
Oh poor corporations, how sad of them having to pay a minor fraction of their massive profits compared to what their smaller competitors and individuals pay. Yes, how unfair.


"Profits" are different than profit margins, which is what counts on the books in quarterly earnings reports.

quote:
Don't cry when your job get shipped overseas, praise the glorious corporate machine.


Yep, because government is so great at fiscal responsibility with the money others, and other entities, create.

Seriously, man?


RE: Buy American?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/24/2012 10:11:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well yeah, because our government is so fiscally responsible with its money and has regulations like corporations to deal with in fiscal responsibility.
So? I believe in gov't fiscal responsibility.

That is a somewhat separate issue. But bear in mind, corporate donors, trade unions, and large individual donors are essentially controlling the federal gov't via donations, so perceived inefficiency is largely their work.

You are simply highlighting another facet of the problem of special interests, in many ways.
quote:
And taxing them at what, 40%, 50%, will bring jobs back? What's the number Jason? What's the magic corporate tax rate that will make things "happen" again?
That's a pretty misleading wording, in that:
a) It seemingly suggests they're *not* being taxed now (most are)
b) You don't even know what my proposed solution is.

My proposed solution is simple -- a relatively low (20-22 percent) flat tax rate.

I have no problems with lower taxes. I do have a problem with select companies who donated large sums of money to federal candidates receiving much larger tax breaks in return, because that creates a market barrier and is the ultimate form of market tampering.

There is no valid reason why a large corporation should be paying 0% taxes, or even 18 percent taxes, when a small business is paying 35 percent.

Just as there is no valid reason why I should be taxed 30+ percent, when some individual taxpayers are pay 15 percent (ultra-wealthy) or 0 percent (welfare exploiters).

A flat tax is a perfectly fair solution. We can haggle on the precise percentage once it's in place.
quote:
Well it's all in the perspective:

http://www.businessinsider.com/ireland-bound-eaton...

Keep raising them taxes and watch those jobs come right back!
Errr most companies who tax evade located to regions like Luxembourg and Ireland. Does it bring these regions jobs? No. Money perhaps, but not jobs. How many people do you think Google and Apple have working in Luxembourg.

No, the true reality, is that corporations are only interested in getting the cheapest labor. The tax burden of America is hardly what is driving jobs to China. It's more that America has too high a standard of living to produce pleasing profit margins for large institutional investors.
quote:
Half of those "99%" pay next to nothing after tax breaks like the EIC while the top 25% pays nearly 90%:

http://ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.ht...
Good point.

I agree, welfare exploiters should absolutely be cracked down upon.

That's why I believe in a flat tax. If you don't pay your taxes, with a flat tax it would be much easier to collect. If you can work, you can pay taxes.
quote:
"Profits" are different than profit margins, which is what counts on the books in quarterly earnings reports.
True, but surely you know the two are tied together and to these issues.

Outsourcing jobs to impoverished regions is a handy way to increase margins, while "relocating" in a non-physical sense to a tax-evading region like Ireland is a handy way to bump your profits. It's not rocket science, nor is it rocket science that both business strategies are destructive to American prosperity.
quote:
Yep, because government is so great at fiscal responsibility with the money others, and other entities, create.

Seriously, man?
Again:

When the government is run by special interest groups and corporate donors, its responsibility or lack thereof is a reflection of the owners' responsibility or lack thereof, not of a true citizen-driven government.

To be fair, I don't believe America can have a true citizen-driven government quite yet. Public apathy is still too high as a result of Americans' relatively high standard of living and culture. Things will have to get worse before they get better. I believe America's government in the short term is increasingly trending towards a plutocracy/effective oligarchy.

But I am an optimist in a "long" sense, in that I believe they will get better for mankind in the U.S. and worldwide.


RE: Buy American?
By Dorkyman on 5/24/2012 1:18:56 PM , Rating: 2
Jeez, Jason, this is a pretty ugly side of yourself you're showing here.

(1) You are NOT being "taxed at 30+ percent." That's the MARGINAL rate; your overall rate is probably 15%. Divide the amount of tax you paid last year by your income last year.

(2) You just hate the fact that those fat cats are taxed at just 15%. You do understand, don't you, that those are capital gains, which the government has for a very long time should be taxed at a lower rate in order to encourage investment. Tell you what: you make a crapload of money at your regular job, then after paying regular income tax you take the net proceeds and buy a crapload of stock. Wait a year, then quit your regular job and sell a little stock at a time. Guess what? You too will be paying just 15%! BUT YOU ALREADY PAID AN ORDINARY INCOME TAX RATE WHEN YOU FIRST MADE THE MONEY. This is not rocket science. But it is Class Envy, which Dear Leader loves to foment.

As for a flat tax, I'm with you on that one. But you can see how easy it will be for legislators to start out with a flat tax and then do carve-outs and breaks, in some cases because they are beholden to donors and in other cases simply because they believe certain things should be promoted (such as charitable donations, or --gasp!-- investing in industry).

But enough with the Obama Talking Points, okay?


RE: Buy American?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/24/2012 5:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But enough with the Obama Talking Points, okay?
Huh?

I'm not planning on voting for Obama...
quote:
As for a flat tax, I'm with you on that one. But you can see how easy it will be for legislators to start out with a flat tax and then do carve-outs and breaks, in some cases because they are beholden to donors and in other cases simply because they believe certain things should be promoted (such as charitable donations, or --gasp!-- investing in industry).
"Investing in the industry", like Solyndra and GE, huh?

Sounds like pork to me.

A flat tax is boolean. The second there's exemptions, breaks, loopholes, etc. it is no longer a flat tax in my mind and isn't worth the document it's printed on. You either have a flat tax or you don't. What you describe is not a flat tax.
quote:
(1) You are NOT being "taxed at 30+ percent." That's the MARGINAL rate; your overall rate is probably 15%. Divide the amount of tax you paid last year by your income last year.

(2) You just hate the fact that those fat cats are taxed at just 15%. You do understand, don't you, that those are capital gains, which the government has for a very long time should be taxed at a lower rate in order to encourage investment. Tell you what: you make a crapload of money at your regular job, then after paying regular income tax you take the net proceeds and buy a crapload of stock. Wait a year, then quit your regular job and sell a little stock at a time. Guess what? You too will be paying just 15%!
Clearly for even most members of the upper middle class it is not feasible to stockpile a year's worth of income to make all of your money off of stock sales.

Capital gains is just like any other source of income. It should be taxed on the same flat rate.

I'm pretty sure Obama isn't advocating that. He's advocating some flashy tax hike for some of the ultrawealthy (I'm sure his friends will be exempt), but no change to the corporate tax situation and no semblance of a flat tax. Saying my suggestion is anything close to Obama rhetoric is kinda like me saying you're a Martian.


RE: Buy American?
By JediJeb on 5/24/2012 6:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Jason I definitely agree with you on the flat tax idea. Every single person should be taxed the exact same percentage not exceptions. If you set the rate at 10%, then if you make $1 this year you owe $0.10 in taxes, if you make $1,000,000 then you owe $100,000. I also think it should be applied to welfare payments and other types of assistance. It sounds counter intuitive but really if the ones receiving the payments never see any tax burden then they are not likely to have a rational voice in tax policy. You see this with the Occupy Wall Street crowd yelling for rich people to pay up while many of them pay little or now taxes and yet many also receive a large cut of what the rich are paying. The financial burden should fall upon every citizen since every citizen is a part of this country and all receive some type of benefit from being a citizen.

Business taxes should be the same, set a flat rate and give no exceptions, all companies pay the same and receive no breaks or incentives. If you set it at a proper rate then they will all be able to handle the tax burden and business will thrive and compete on a level field. The state and local governments should be held to the same rules. That way locations that can afford to give a tax break because they collect more taxes from the people living there or more established business can not use that as an incentive, they must compete on a level field with other locations.


RE: Buy American?
By johnsmith9875 on 5/29/2012 10:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
A flat tax is a nonstarter mainly because it would get rid of all those juicy tax breaks the rich get and they won't give up.

Second of all, flat taxes are highly regressive, punishing consumers and that is economic suicide. Its been long known that supply-side tax cuts never work and consumer-side always works.

Every flat tax plan known increases taxation for the bottom 99% Its a dirty little secret, which is why the pizza candidate had to rewrite his 999 plan because people actually looked at the numbers and said....hey wait a minute. Romney's tax plan will punish the consumer too.


RE: Buy American?
By Solandri on 5/24/2012 4:37:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
http: //economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/are-t...

quote: the United States actually has the lowest corporate tax burden of any of the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Jason, that's a common trick I see to try to make it look like U.S. corporations aren't paying their fair share of taxes. Frequently it's coupled with an argument that U.S. corporate tax rates need to be increased (even though they're already the highest in the OECD).

Looking at corporate tax receipts as a percent of GDP fails to take into account that the U.S. has a substantially lower overall tax burden than most OECD countries. In other words, it is not a valid data point for the question: "Are corporations paying their fair share of taxes?" (ignoring for this post that the difference between corporate and personal taxes is irrelevant)

The U.S. typically sits at 25%-28% tax revenue as percent of GDP, while the OECD average is around 35%.
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/content/table/2075851...
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/taxation/taxes-on-cor...

If you take the average of the 2003-2009 data from the above two tables, you find that:
- U.S. tax revenue is 26.4% of GDP
- OECD tax revenue is 34.7% of GDP
- OECD tax revenue is 1.315x higher than the U.S.

- U.S. corporate tax revenue is 2.56% of GDP, 9.70% of total
- OECD corporate tax revenue is 3.41% of GDP, 9.85% of total
- OECD corporate tax revenue is 1.335x than the U.S.

In other words, corporations aren't being favored in the U.S. The ratio of corporate tax receipts to overall tax revenue for the U.S. and the OECD average are virtually identical. By OECD standards, U.S. corporations are paying their fair share of taxes. The lower tax revenue from corporations in the U.S. is almost exactly explained by the lower overall tax burden in the U.S.

(The difference isn't quite so close. Ideally, you should subtract the U.S. from the OECD average before comparing. But it's late, I need to get to sleep, and the U.S. represents just 1/34th of the average so the error is going to be very small.)


RE: Buy American?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/24/2012 10:24:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

Jason, that's a common trick I see to try to make it look like U.S. corporations aren't paying their fair share of taxes. Frequently it's coupled with an argument that U.S. corporate tax rates need to be increased (even though they're already the highest in the OECD).

Looking at corporate tax receipts as a percent of GDP fails to take into account that the U.S. has a substantially lower overall tax burden than most OECD countries. In other words, it is not a valid data point for the question: "Are corporations paying their fair share of taxes?" (ignoring for this post that the difference between corporate and personal taxes is irrelevant)

The U.S. typically sits at 25%-28% tax revenue as percent of GDP, while the OECD average is around 35%.
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/content/table/2075851...
http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/taxation/taxes-on-cor...

If you take the average of the 2003-2009 data from the above two tables, you find that:
- U.S. tax revenue is 26.4% of GDP
- OECD tax revenue is 34.7% of GDP
- OECD tax revenue is 1.315x higher than the U.S.

- U.S. corporate tax revenue is 2.56% of GDP, 9.70% of total
- OECD corporate tax revenue is 3.41% of GDP, 9.85% of total
- OECD corporate tax revenue is 1.335x than the U.S.

In other words, corporations aren't being favored in the U.S. The ratio of corporate tax receipts to overall tax revenue for the U.S. and the OECD average are virtually identical. By OECD standards, U.S. corporations are paying their fair share of taxes. The lower tax revenue from corporations in the U.S. is almost exactly explained by the lower overall tax burden in the U.S.

(The difference isn't quite so close. Ideally, you should subtract the U.S. from the OECD average before comparing. But it's late, I need to get to sleep, and the U.S. represents just 1/34th of the average so the error is going to be very small.)
Fair enough, but bear in mind that the same kinds of job losses due to corporate tax dodging, out-sourcing, and downsizing are happening in other developed nations like the UK, France, Germany, Canada, etc.

Companies are relocating to the UK, Germany, Canada, etc. for their slightly lower tax rates. No, they're relocating to places like Ireland.

Except they're not REALLY relocating... they're just OFFICIALLY relocating. Most of these tax dodger maintain a minimal presence in these regions. So yes, they are giving money to Ireland, et al.'s gov't, but not they aren't bring jobs to these reasons.

Instead, jobs are being shipped to developing regions like Vietnam, India, China, Mexico, etc. To a degree this can be a good thing for both the U.S. and these developing regions.

The problem becomes when companies unilaterally commit to cutting American professional jobs and forcing the remaining individuals to work harder.

As I mention, it's somewhat of a myth that low effective tax rates alone create large numbers of jobs (companies will relocate to you, but their jobs will be focused on cheaper regions).

Tax evasion does COST jobs, though, because SMBs can not effectively tax dodge, in most cases. Hence they have an inherent competitive barrier set up and are more likely to fail.

Take two businesses:
Business A pays 18 percent in federal taxes.
Business B pays 35 percent in federal taxes.

Without knowing anything else, simple economics tells us that all thing otherwise equal, Business A is more likely to survive. Nearly all businesses have hard times, and keeping more of your money makes you more likely to survive them.

The issue is that Business A is almost always corporations, while Business B is almost always what SMBs qualify as. The American tax system is inherently geared, at present to put small to midsize businesses out of business (in a broad sense).

When these businesses fold, they cost American jobs as SMBs are inherently less likely to outsource and are more likely to maintain a decent-sized workforce (despite the smaller profit margins that entails). And ultimately corporations will swoop in and pick up the lost business, while outsourcing production and downsizing their workforce.

That's a somewhat separate issue, but both together these three tactics (tax evasion, downsizing and outsourcing) have a very damaging cumulative effect on the American high-tech jobs market.

The simple solution is a flat tax rate.

This will enable SMBs to compete, while not being inherently unfair to corporations.


RE: Buy American?
By hero_of_zero on 5/24/2012 1:31:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it so high.The west is in a big rush to the magic zero % mark for corps and give them corporate welfare.For you guys in the 50/60's wasn't it near 90%?They just never paid that but it forced the companies to spend there most of their profits on the company.Therefor paid way less in taxes.
Now with lower and lower corp base tax it does the opposite.They pocket more and more and give it to the top and the shareholders.That why you see ceo and his buddies get 10's of millions even if he did the worst job in the world like hp last ceo as a example.
Just look a a mid size biz and why do u see the owner buy a new company truck every so many years to drive around in?.Buy the truck lower his end of year profit get a nice truck and pay less in tax vs not buying it and giving the money to the government.


RE: Buy American?
By km9v on 5/24/2012 10:03:02 AM , Rating: 2
Big corp. are often their own worst enemies. Upper mngt is often clueless about where the rubber meets the road.


RE: Buy American?
By xti on 5/24/2012 2:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
because the laptop you want is priced accordingly where you will turn your head.

its true :)


Professionalism.
By drycrust3 on 5/23/2012 6:04:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Still a bit of a silver-lining to this cloudy news is that Ms. Whitman did indicate that some of the $3.5B USD saved would be reinvested in working towards restoring HP Labs to its former glory.

I am amazed that Whitman thinks 8% of her employees are idle. If they were, then tossing them out would only be a positive impact.
On the other hand, if, as I believe, all HP employees are working pretty well at their limit, then downsizing by 8% while recruiting for the HP Labs (which means "everywhere else" has even more of a reduction than the 8%) can only have a negative impact. One outcome of this "negative impact" is a reduced profit, another is a reduced market share, another is falling share price (making HP a potential takeover target ... ), but the most important one is that the work of that 8+% will fall onto the shoulders of the remaining staff, who are already working close to their physical and mental limits.
I think the respect the Board of Directors do get from their staff is only because of the staff's professionalism.




RE: Professionalism.
By Ammohunt on 5/23/2012 11:04:47 PM , Rating: 3
Ask yourself what has HP produced in the last 10 years? they sunk their Unix server line with itanic which was a huge cash cow for them. Their PC server line is ok but that market is saturated by dell and others. They missed the Linux bandwagon; their Enterprise software is not competetive they got out of the tablet market what have they innovated recently? where are they as compared to IBM? Oracle?


RE: Professionalism.
By drycrust3 on 5/23/2012 11:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know of any scale of technological capability, but 10 years behind at today's rate of technological development is the more than 1000 years behind at the start of the 20th Century.


RE: Professionalism.
By Zuul on 5/24/2012 4:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
This article doesn't mention it, but the majority of those people being let go were close to retirement and given early retirement packages.

Lots of large companies are full of people in their mid/late 50's who are simply coasting because they know they will eventually be packaged out.

This gets them off the books now and opens up room for the younger guys to move up.


Emporor Palpatine I presume?
By sl68 on 5/23/2012 10:12:44 PM , Rating: 1
If you will not be turned,you will be destroyed.




RE: Emporor Palpatine I presume?
By sl68 on 5/23/2012 10:14:43 PM , Rating: 2
Emperor rather.Why no ability to correct posts?Sigh.


Government Sector
By johnsmith9875 on 5/29/2012 10:39:40 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how this will affect HP's State and Federal Government Sector. They've always been the redheaded stepchild despite being consistent money earners, I wonder if they may lose people too.




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