No Letup In U.S. Layoffs

With the pending merger of Chemical Bank and Chase Manhattan Corp. expected to cost 12,000 employees their jobs, it's clear that America's downsizing trend is still in high gear. Indeed, for managerial and professional workers, the pain has been growing. According to a new Labor Dept. report, these occupations accounted for 24% of all permanent layoffs during 1991-93, compared with just 13% in 1981-83.

What's more, while it was mainly low-paid managers and professionals who got axed in the early 1980s, staff cuts in the 1990s are affecting employees across the income spectrum. These days, sums up the Labor Dept. report, "even for managers and professionals, being at the top of the earnings ladder appears to provide less protection when budgets become leaner."