Prepare for Mass Layoffs in 2012
BOSTON (Reuters) – From Capitol Hill and Wall Street to small towns across the United States, discussions of the economy have focused on one key question for the past two years: When will corporate America start hiring again?
That may be the wrong question. With Europe’s debt crisis rattling the world financial system and demand fading, the question on many executives’ and economists’ minds is whether the nation is on the brink of another large round of layoffs.
It does not help that the uncertainty that has sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 index down more than 10 percent since mid-July is lingering into October when big companies start planning out their 2012 budgets. At the very least, executives said it looks unlikely that companies will start the significant rounds of hiring that would be needed to drive down the nation’s unemployment rate, currently 9.1 percent.
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