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Modern Management

Worker Whiplash: The Job Market Is Hot But HR Execs Are Cutting

Eight of 10 workforce leaders say they’re reducing staff through layoffs, hiring freezes or other tactics, a survey found, but the job market remains hot with vacancies rising again

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Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Most businesses are slashing their workforces in one way or another, a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers found, even as demand for labor remains relentless and openings increase.

More than eight of 10 chief human resources officers said they’re cutting jobs, freezing hiring or employing other tactics to reduce staff to a great extent, according to the auditing and consulting firm, which surveyed 657 executives, including almost 100 in senior HR roles. Companies are also resorting to voluntary retirements, performance-based cuts and attrition—not replacing people who leave. The survey didn’t explain what constitutes a “great extent.” And nearly half of the respondents said they’re still hiring in specific areas.