Heads Are Still Rolling Just Not Quite As Many

This will sound like a cruel joke to workers at Raytheon Co. and Fleet Financial Group Inc., which both just announced layoffs, but economists at International Strategy & Investment Group Inc. report that the number of workers facing layoffs is beginning to fall sharply. True, the number of companies announcing plans to downsize is up from last year--35 in the four weeks ending Mar. 12 vs. 25 in the comparable period last year. But the number of layoffs has dropped to 22,000 from 57,400 last year.

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