The hiring forecast surveyed more than 2500 hiring managers. As expected, more firms reduced the number of full-time employees as compared to the number of firms who increased staffing. In fact, the number cutting employment was double the number expanding. What is interesting, and a reason to be optimistic, is the number reducing staffing was only 26% of the hiring managers surveyed. The other 74% of firms either maintained staffing levels or increased them.
For many firms, maintaining staffing levels requires continued hiring. Employees will still leave and need to be replaced. In fact, some of the companies reducing staffing levels may still need to hire to replace the loss of key employees. Although only 13% of the hiring managers said they were increasing staffing levels, the number who are doing some hiring could be as high or higher than three out of four companies.
The hours worked per employee were less positive. Again around a quarter of the firms made cuts, but this time only 5% increased the hours worked. The difference between this measure and the measure of the number of employees is a results of how companies are reacting to the recession. They are cutting hours and benefits, while trying to maintain staffing levels. Every manager knows that the company who maintains their staff and is ready to grow coming out of a recession will gain market share. The challenge is cutting enough to survive the recession, but not cutting too much.
You can read the full report at http://img.icbdr.com/images/aboutus/pressroom/Q22009forecastreport.pdf