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Most U.S. Firms Expect No Layoffs for Rest of Year

Posted by Fryer, Shari at Wednesday, 08/15/2012 3:11 pm
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The vast majority of U.S. employers anticipate there will be no layoffs at their organization for the rest of 2012, according to a survey of 1,107 companies sponsored by Right Management, the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup.

Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed firms indicated that there would be “no layoffs at all” in the next six months, and 11% predicted layoffs at a normal level, which means selectively. Just 1% of respondents expect significantly more staff cutbacks.

This inaugural global study on layoff trends was conducted during the second quarter of 2012 in more than 40 countries and territories. It was conducted as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world. The layoff trend data will be updated every six months and will serve as a bellwether of labor market trends and activities.

“The initial data indicates that organizations in the U.S. as well as globally do not anticipate layoffs of employees in large numbers in the near future,” said Owen Sullivan, Right Management CEO and President of ManpowerGroup Specialty Brands. “Our findings suggest that most organizations have already taken significant action over the past two to three years to reduce headcount to what they believe is the appropriate level. However, on a continual basis companies are assessing their headcount requirements which often results in lower volume layoffs.”

Do you anticipate there will be employee layoffs in any of your organization’s business units in the next six months?
        U.S.       Global average
No layoffs at all        69%       78%
A normal level of layoffs        11%       13%
Moderately more layoffs        4%        2%
Significantly more layoffs        1%        1%
Don’t know        6%        6%

“Organizations must manage their talent as strategically as they would any other scarce resource,” said Sullivan, whose firm provides talent, career and outplacement services to Fortune 500 companies. “They have to develop flexible talent sources, work models and people practices to ensure they’ll have in place what is needed to optimize their business and reach their goals. This drop in expected layoffs is in line with this reality.”

“We see our client companies taking a consultative approach to managing their talent…one that scopes out their current and future talent needs,” said Sullivan. “The pressure to drive productivity within volatile market conditions continues to intensify. Companies that cannot quickly tap the right talent to execute their strategy will inevitably lose their competitive edge. A clear, robust workforce strategy, providing visibility to challenges and drawing on innovative workforce solutions, must form a core part of every organization’s business plan.”

About the Survey
The Right Management survey was part of ManpowerGroup’s quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the staff levels. This survey polled 14,931 employers in 41 countries and territories.
Full results for each of the 41 countries and territories included in this quarter’s survey are available from

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