Maybe its in preparation of a slow summer season, a result of inventory build up, but its undeniable that many employers, who clung to the hope that business would pick up, are finally going through another round of reductions.
What about the vaunted small business job creation? Isn't the birth/death model showing job growth here? Sure, but its a model. I think the layoffs are coming more and more from small business. In small businesses, there really is a personal attachment. The consequences of laying of an employee, who may even be a friend, are more heartfelt, than for a large corporation. From talking to some small business owners, they were less likely to let someone go in this weak economic environment. They actually felt a responsibility to their employee. They worked hard to reduce hours, encourage the person to look for another job, but did all they could to keep them employed. They are now throwing in the towel. None of the momentum from October has carried through. They are seeing weakness again and are having to move into self preservation mode.
What about big companies? Aren't they 'all' reporting record earnings? Yes, earnings are great, but it seems like most have seen business slow a little, so Q2 guidance has been a little disappointing, and virtually all companies have expressed some concern about margins. If you are concerned about margins you aren't hiring.
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