Layoffs: Is the worst over?

Some new research from Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm which specializes in human capital and financial management offers some indications that a bottom to today’s turbulent work environment may be in sight. In a February 2009 report on the Effect of the Economic Crisis on HR Programs researchers at Wyatt report that the majority of the companies they surveyed have already put their most drastic cuts behind them, and are now looking to make smaller cost-cutting changes moving forward.


Key Findings 

  • More than half of companies (52 percent) have already made layoffs, up from 39 percent two months ago. However, the number of companies planning layoffs has fallen ten percentage points from 23 percent to 13 percent.
  • Forty-two percent of companies have already put salary freezes into place, an increase from only 13 percent two months ago.
  • Sixty-nine percent of companies have revised their merit increase budgets for 2009. The median increase at those companies has decreased from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent.

While most companies are now settling in to what many believe will be a long recession that will not bottom out until the end of 2009 or into 2010, the good news is that, according to this report, it looks like the majority of the layoffs, salary and hiring freezes, and resetting of merit increase budgets have already been announced.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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