End of the Recession? Employers See Positive Signs
In a sign the economy is inching toward recovery, fewer employers froze wage increases, cut employee bonuses and implemented layoffs in the last six months, according to a new poll of human resource professionals.
The poll, “Financial Challenges to the U.S. and Global Economy and Their Impact on Organizations — Fall 2010 Update,” released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 60% of businesses made budget cuts across the entire organization, down from a high of 73% in the fall of 2009. A third of surveyed organizations froze employee wages (39%), cut employee bonuses (38%) and implemented layoffs (36%), down from their highest levels in the fall of 2009.
“Organizations are responding to minor improvements in the economy by reinstating employee wage increases and bonuses, which shows that they are invested in keeping their workforce intact,” said Evren Esen, manager of SHRM’s Survey Research Center. “Fewer organizations have hiring freezes and layoffs — both signs that some job growth is occurring.”
Employers continue to struggle through lasting effects of the recession as 20% indicated they had to reduce employee benefits in the last six months, the highest level since the fall of 2008, when the first in this series of economic polls was released. The benefits most frequently reduced were health care coverage for employees (91%), health care coverage for spouses and dependents (89%), company paid relocation programs (55%) and the amount of leave an employee could accrue (54%).
HR professionals indicated actions their organizations could take in the next six months if current financial challenges continue, including:
The poll, which measures opinions held by 405 randomly selected HR professionals, was conducted Nov. 8, 2010 — Jan. 13, 2011. Other key findings were:
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession.