Economic Fears Keep Staff Levels Lean

Economic Fears Keep Staff Levels Lean

Economic Fears Keep Staff Levels Lean

Drastic Measures 51% of companies reduced headcount between Dec. 2007 and Dec. 2010, either directly or indirectly due to the recession.

While signs appear to point toward a slow, steady economic recovery, don't count on employers to step up their hiring efforts anytime soon. A recent survey from Challenger, Gray and Christmas reveals that a significant share of companies don't plan to bring staffing levels up to where they were before the most recent recession. Even organizations that are increasing headcount are generally not bringing back workers who were laid off in recent years, findings reveal. Many managers aren't convinced that the economy is strong enough to justify major staff expansions, and, as reported previously, there's the lingering problem of finding people with the right skills for available positions. "A 'jobless recovery' may be the new post-recession norm," says CEO John Challenger, "as employers rebuild their workforces from scratch, take more time to vet candidates and find ways to operate with fewer workers. All of these factors slow the rebuilding process, which has led many to perceive this jobs recovery as being especially sluggish. This perception is understandable, considering that we are now four years out from the official end of the recovery, and employment is still more than two million jobs below the pre-recession peak." Approximately 100 HR professionals took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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