At the end of 2008 I was hoping that companies would try and shed employees before the end of the year, book as much of the cost as they could, and the job market would stabilize. It does not look like that happened. Thousands of employees continue to be shed in January as companies that did not cut back earlier begin to downsize, and some companies that did cut back trim a bit more. Now I am hoping this will last another 90 days, which seems to align with what I have been hearing from people who know more than I do.
Companies need to be profitable for a host of reasons, including their ability to pay good salaries and invest in improvements, both of which keep them competitive. But high unemployment becomes a drag on the entire economy, reducing collective spending power and increasing the cost of social services. Which brings me back to my hope that companies can turn the corner before job loss gains any more momentum and becomes to hard to be reverse.