Job Cuts May Drop In 1997

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Despite an 8.5% increase in the number of layoffs last year, that number is projected to drop dramatically in 1997, according to the international outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas in Chicago.

“Job cuts could be 10% to 15% lower than last year,” says John Challenger, the firm’s executive vice president. “Today’s economy is strong and a tight labor market has caused companies to rethink their former stance about the disposability of people, especially in the case of mergers,” he adds

Other factors contributing to the slowdown in job cuts is the dramatic growth in high-tech fields and the difficulty companies are having in finding top technical performers. Years of repeated downsizing has also stretched some companies’ workforces so thin that more cuts would be too risky, concludes Challenger.