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Byline: John Pletz
May 8--Dell Computer Corp. confirmed what many had feared Monday, saying it will cut an additional 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in the next six months, most of them in Central Texas.
As one more beat in a steady chorus of sobering economic news, the layoffs are another blow to both Dell and the region where it is the largest employer and a de facto business and financial barometer.
Until this year, Dell had known almost nothing but growth for most of the past decade. But now the company is feeling the dual effects of an economic downturn and a brutal computer price war that it helped start.
Dell is cutting almost 9 percent of its work force on top of the 1,700 layoffs, or 4 percent of its worldwide work force, that it announced Feb. 15. The newest layoffs, coupled with moving the move of some operations from Texas to Tennessee, will affect employees across the company.
"The U.S. economic slowdown is larger than we and everyone else believed even a few weeks ago, and some competitors are virtually giving their products away," Dell's top executives wrote in an e-mail to …