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Vault Asks Employees to "Sound Off": Fifty-Eight Percent Say They Fear More Layoffs.

More Than Half Believe They Have Been Treated Fairly During This Economic Downturn, According to New Survey

NEW YORK -- With U.S. job losses hitting record numbers in December, employees are bracing for more in 2009. According the latest Vault survey, 74% of respondents say their organization has undergone layoffs, and 58% expect another round of cuts. In fact, employees say they are expecting fourth -- and even fifth -- waves of downsizing at their companies. According to one respondent, "They've been cutting since October 2007!"

Vault.com is the Web's most comprehensive resource for career and job search information, including insider intelligence on salaries, hiring practices and company cultures. The survey was conducted in December 2008, and included responses from 436 employees in various industries across the United States. For the full results and related respondent comments go to: Vault.com/surveys/downsize.

As employers kept up a steady pace of job reductions, 56% of those surveyed say that that they and their colleagues have been treated fairly or considerately by their employers during the downturn.

As one respondent said: "I now understand that 'it's business not personal.' Like a good divorce we both go on with our lives." Of those (44%) who feel they have been treated unfairly, one offered the following comment: "It was business as usual. I guess loyalty is a one way street."

The majority of employees surveyed feel more should have been done at their companies to prevent the layoffs. While 64% said that they would accept a pay cut to prevent layoffs, only 19% said that their companies actually asked them to do so. Similarly, 60% would have taken a voluntary buyout, whereas 67% indicated they weren't given the option.

When asked what they would do to cut costs if they were in charge, 66% cited bonuses and perks; 78% would do away with holiday parties/social events; 30% would cut marketing, while 28% said they would reduce training and development costs. Others wrote in to take aim at executive salaries. One employee pointed out that "Layoffs should be at all levels and not just protect the highest paid. Executives, managers making in excess of $150K should forego bonuses and have profit sharing suspended."

One respondent said, "To save jobs, everything should be looked at and pared down to an acceptable amount."

So how are employees staying afloat in these uncertain economic times? Sixty-five percent said they are looking for a more secure job, and 28% say they will try to get a second job. In the meantime, 33% plan on going back to school (if they can afford to), and about half are ditching their vacations.

Note to Editors: Erik Sorenson, Vault.com CEO and career management expert, is available to be interviewed by print or electronic outlets about this survey as well as today's job market and techniques for surviving the current economic downturn.

About Vault.com

Vault.com is the Web's most comprehensive career resource, with "insider" information on thousands of companies, hundreds of occupations and dozens of industries as well as industry news, salary data, expert blogs on career management and workplace issues, a network of message boards for professionals as well as job-related video. Vault publishes more than 120 online and print books, from the best-selling Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms to the Vault Guide to Schmoozing. The company's clients include thousands of advertisers, recruiters, universities and graduate schools as well as consumers worldwide.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 9, 2009
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