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Microsoft cuts hit Fargo; number of jobs lost is unclear

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The downsizing of Microsoft will be hard on Fargo, after all.

The software giant confirmed that employees at its Fargo campus lost their jobs Thursday but did not reveal the size of the cuts.

Valley News Live reports Microsoft's Fargo site leader, Don Morton, issued a statement that read in part:

"...a number of positions based in Fargo will be eliminated. The employees impacted have been informed of these changes, and a program has been initiated to help ensure the best possible process and support."

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Are the job cuts surprising? Well, yes and no.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a couple of months ago that the company's worldwide workforce would shrink by up to 18,000 jobs in a year, with some of the cuts eliminating overlap following Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia.

But Morton told U.S. Sen. John Hoeven in July that the cutbacks were not expected to affect the Fargo campus. Thursday's announcement is contrary to that assurance.

The Fargo Forum says as of last December Microsoft employed 877 people in Fargo and nearly 700 others employed by vendors worked on the Fargo campus.

The president of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation tells the Forum he spoke with Microsoft officials. Jim Gartin told the newspaper the corporate reorganization's effect on the Red River Valley is only temporary and Microsoft remains "110 percent committed to its Fargo campus."

The Seattle Times says Microsoft shed about 2,100 employees on Thursday, including 747 in the Puget Sound area. That brings the total job loss since Nadella's announcement to about 15,000, the Times reports.

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