WASHINGTON, D.C., February 25, 2009 — As the recession continues, companies are looking ahead and expecting to experience a long period of economic hardship. 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.
“Companies have come to terms with the fact that this recession is going to last and that they can’t slash their way out of it,” said Laura Sejen, global director of strategic rewards consulting at Watson Wyatt. “Many companies are putting the drastic cuts behind them and are now focusing on smaller, more sustainable cost-cutting actions.”
According to the survey of 245 large U.S. employers conducted last week, 52% have made layoffs, up from 39% two months ago. However, the number of companies planning layoffs has fallen 10 percentage points from 23% to 13% (see chart above).
HT: Andrew Greene