Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Survey Indicates Downsizing on Decline

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Survey Indicates Downsizing on Decline

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- After years of widespread layoffs and shake-ups, companies are once again hiring, according to a nationwide survey released Tuesday that found downsizing and job cuts at their lowest levels of the 1990s.

That's not to say all jobs are safe. Thirteen percent of the 1,200 companies surveyed by the American Management Association are firing workers, and a third of companies are both firing and hiring.

Underscoring the fact that downsizings are hardly a thing of the past, Citicorp announced Tuesday it is eliminating 7,500 jobs worldwide over the next 18 months to become more efficient. Still, the specter of downsizing is receding. Those companies surveyed created an average of 110 new jobs while eliminating 57, and their payrolls grew 6.9 percent in the year ending in June. "We had to go through a long dark night where there was an emphasis on cost-control, cost-reduction and staff-reduction," said Eric Rolfe Greenberg, director of management studies at the New York- based association. "Ultimately, companies found that there was more to doing business than cutting costs." The sweeping job cuts that were part of the downsizing era left few workers unaffected. Nearly 40 percent of companies cut jobs in three or more years since 1990, according to the survey. The changes left even surviving workers with a sense of insecurity -- as well as mounting workloads. And workers are still licking their wounds: witness such popular books as Healing the Downsized Organization by Delorese Ambrose or Climb a Fallen Ladder by Rochelle H. Gordon and Catherine E. Harold. Now, times are better. Companies reporting job cuts have shrunk to 41 percent this year from 56 percent in 1991, the management association reported. Companies that downsized -- or decreased their total work force -- fell to 19 percent from 43 percent in the same periods. …

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