Thursday, December 18, 2008

[IWS] Watson Wyatt: EFFECT OF ECONOMIC CRISIS on HR PROGRAMS [December 2008]

IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations
-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor
---------------------- Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016
-------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

Watson Wyatt

[full-text, 7 pages]

Press Release 18 December 2008
Recession Forcing More Companies to Make Changes to HR Programs, Watson Wyatt Survey Finds
Number of Employers That Have Made or Are Planning Layoffs, Hiring Freezes Rises Sharply Since October

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2008 ­ The number of companies implementing cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, hiring and salary freezes and smaller pay raises, has risen sharply in just two months, according to a new survey by Watson Wyatt, a leading global consulting firm.

Watson Wyatt's latest survey found that more than one in five companies (23 percent) plan to make layoffs in the next 12 months, and almost two in five (39 percent) have already done so ­ a sharp increase from only 19 percent of companies who had done so in October. The number of companies with hiring freezes jumped from 30 percent in October to 47 percent this month, with an additional 18 percent planning a hiring freeze in the next 12 months. Furthermore, the number of companies that have already implemented salary freezes jumped from 4 percent in October to 13 percent currently. The survey was conducted during the week of December 8, 2008, and includes responses from 117 companies across a variety of industries.

"As the economic downturn has both broadened and deepened, companies in almost every industry can no longer stay the course," said Laura Sejen, global director of strategic rewards consulting at Watson Wyatt. "The need to contain costs has resulted in stronger measures that are ultimately affecting more workers."



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Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 255-2703                
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