More Layoffs Ahead?

publication date: Feb 25, 2009

Watson Wyatt is one of the world's largest benefit consulting firms so they work with many employers. They regularly survey companies for their future hiring and firing plans. Their just released February survey offers some optimism that the heavy layoffs may soon be ending:

"A new update to an ongoing series of surveys conducted by Watson Wyatt, a leading global consulting firm, shows that most companies have already made most of their intended sweeping changes. However, many expect to make further cost-cutting changes this year, such as salary and hiring freezes, and reduced 401(k) matching contributions."

"According to the survey of 245 large U.S. employers conducted last week, 52 percent have made layoffs, up from 39 percent two months ago. However, the number of companies planning layoffs has fallen 10 percentage points from 23 percent to 13 percent. Additionally, 56 percent now have a hiring freeze in effect, an increase from 47 percent in December’s survey."

"There has been a jump in the number of companies that have put into place other changes as well. These include salary freezes (up to 42 percent of respondents now from 13 percent in December’s survey), reductions in 401(k) matches (up to 12 percent from 3 percent), a shortened workweek (up to 13 percent from 2 percent) and travel restrictions (up to 69 percent from 48 percent)."

HR program

Already made change

Expecting to make change

 

Feb
2009

Dec
2008

Oct
2008

Feb
2009

Dec
2008

Oct
2008

Add/increase restrictions to
company travel policy

69%

48%

34%

10%

16%

21%

Hiring freeze

56%

47%

30%

10%

18%

25%

Layoffs/reduction in force

52%

39%

19%

13%

23%

26%

Eliminate or reduce the hiring of
seasonal workers

44%

28%

17%

9%

16%

18%

Salary freeze

42%

13%

4%

14%

19%

12%



 

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Eric Tyson is the only best-selling personal finance author who has an extensive background as an hourly-based financial advisor and who does not accept speaking fees, endorsement deals or fees of any type from companies in the financial services industry or product or service providers recommended in his articles, books and his publications.