The tough times are continuing for IBM employees in the United States.

The Westchester-based company known as "Big Blue" says most workers in the hardware division will have to take a week off with reduced pay.

Bloomberg News reported the affected employees will receive one-third of their regular pay.

An IBM spokesman told Bloomberg that the furlough plan was viewed as the "best approach" for the company, which has been trying to cope with sagging sales this year.

IBM already has slashed its U.S. and Canadian workforces this year. The Broome County-based Alliance@IBM group estimates more than 3,300 people have lost their jobs in recent weeks.

IBM will not release information about its employment levels in Endicott or in the United States.

The company had more than 14,000 employees in the Southern Tier in the early 1980s.