The survey, conducted by the Society for Human Resource
Management (SHRM) and CareerJournal.com, found respondents
noting little improvement thus far in 2002 – and the
prospects don’t appear any better for the rest of the
year. CareerJournal is the Wall Street Journal’s
executive career site.
Respondents in government (28%) and finance (28%) industries were least optimistic that the job market will improve by December, while wholesale/retail trade industries (46%), services (45%) and manufacturing (44%) were the most optimistic that the job
market would improve by the end of the year.
For the first half of 2002, 39% of HR professionals indicated that their organizations had conducted layoffs. Much the same was true with job seekers, with 31% saying their organizations had conducted layoffs and 36% of the employees/job seekers responding
said they were unemployed.
Tech Leads in Downsizing
The high-tech industry had the highest percentage of
layoffs with two-thirds of organizations downsizing their
As for the remainder of 2002, 55% of HR professionals stated that they did not anticipate further layoffs. For job seekers, there was much less optimism with 41% believing their organization would conduct layoffs before year’s end.
Both groups remain considerably uncertain about the next six months with 25% of HR professionals and 19% of job seekers simply stating more layoffs may occur.
The survey covered 538 human resource (HR) professionals and 591 employees/job seekers.