Go Ahead, Lay Me Off

Losing a job is no big worry in today's growing economy

Are companies toting up big earnings gains through layoffs? That would seem to be the case, according to a widely watched survey by outplacement consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Its latest report showed announced layoffs up 42% in the first six months and, if the pace keeps up, layoffs will exceed 700,000, setting a record for this decade. "The rate of churning will intensify as Corporate America responds with increasing speed to new product introductions, global competition, and Wall Street's emphasis on quarterly profits," says Jeffrey A. Joerres, chief executive of temporary help firm Manpower Inc.

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