THE REDUCTION 1130141368938792

12/09/2004 3:00 AM

10/24/2005 4:09 AM

Progress Energy, below, says it will offer early retirement to about 3,500 of 15,300 employees in the Carolinas and Florida.

* That's about 23 percent of its work force.

* Employees age 50 and older with five or more years at the company as of Ma

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