Why Small Business Job Cuts Hurt More Than Big-Employer Layoffs

Troubling statistics have been rolling in lately about job losses. While the beginning of the recession saw the shedding of thousands of jobs en masse at major corporations, by the end of last year, job cuts were concentrated at small businesses. While financial aid aimed at small businesses continues to sit in the Senate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 62 percent of cuts were at firms with less than 50 workers — the kind that provide nearly one-third of all jobs.
And those cuts hurt that business, and the economy, in ways big-company layoffs never will.
Small businesses will often cut to the bone before laying off longtime workers. Some have done furloughs, voluntary sabbaticals, pay cuts, deferred maintenance, marketing reductions — anything but pink-slipping workers. For many entrepreneurs with small staffs, those people have become like family.

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Troubling statistics have been rolling in lately about job losses. While the beginning of the recession saw the shedding of thousands of jobs en masse at major corporations, by the end of last year, job cuts were concentrated at small businesses. While financial aid aimed at small businesses continues to sit in the Senate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 62 percent of cuts were at firms with less than 50 workers — the kind that provide nearly one-third of all jobs.

And those cuts hurt that business, and the economy, in ways big-company layoffs never will.

Small businesses will often cut to the bone before laying off longtime workers. Some have done furloughs, voluntary sabbaticals, pay cuts, deferred maintenance, marketing reductions — anything but pink-slipping workers. For many entrepreneurs with small staffs, those people have become like family.  Leer más “Why Small Business Job Cuts Hurt More Than Big-Employer Layoffs”

Recession Survival Tips For Online Businesses

* By Kate Davies

In a recession, companies go one of two ways: either they become the cautious cat, adopting a wait-and-see attitude, spending carefully on their marketing and less overall, cutting back, or they become the ferocious lion, bold, taking advantage of their competitors’ caution to seize opportunities in the tough market.

Whatever your approach, remember that Web marketing is a great investment during a recession. Online marketing, though a short-term endeavor, is quick to set up, measurable and, as a result, easily optimizable. It can be infinitely better than a lock-in marketing strategy or partnership, especially in a poor economic climate.

Here are three Recession “R”s, to help your business take advantage of online marketing in this challenging time. Rework, Revisit, Reach Out: let’s take a closer look at survival tips and strategies for online marketing.

Survival1 in Recession Survival Tips For Online Businesses
Illustration by Simon Newton

[Offtopic: by the way, did you already get your copy of the Smashing Book?]
Rework

Apart from the occasional spring clean, no one really enjoys housekeeping because it feels like hard work. However, a spring clean or review of your website could reveal some hidden strengths and allow you to address some simple yet fundamental drawbacks.


In a recession, companies go one of two ways: either they become the cautious cat, adopting a wait-and-see attitude, spending carefully on their marketing and less overall, cutting back, or they become the ferocious lion, bold, taking advantage of their competitors’ caution to seize opportunities in the tough market.

Whatever your approach, remember that Web marketing is a great investment during a recession. Online marketing, though a short-term endeavor, is quick to set up, measurable and, as a result, easily optimizable. It can be infinitely better than a lock-in marketing strategy or partnership, especially in a poor economic climate.

Here are three Recession “R”s, to help your business take advantage of online marketing in this challenging time. Rework, Revisit, Reach Out: let’s take a closer look at survival tips and strategies for online marketing.

Survival1 in Recession Survival Tips For Online Businesses
Illustration by Simon Newton

[Offtopic: by the way, did you already get your copy of the Smashing Book?]

Rework

Apart from the occasional spring clean, no one really enjoys housekeeping because it feels like hard work. However, a spring clean or review of your website could reveal some hidden strengths and allow you to address some simple yet fundamental drawbacks. Leer más “Recession Survival Tips For Online Businesses”

A Double Dip Recession? Who Cares?

What should be most striking about these concerns, however, is how little they matter. A double dip is a period of economic contraction that follows a brief recovery after a recession. It’s a useful prop for framing economic and political debates but doesn’t describe what’s actually happening across the country. The reality is that if you are doing well in this economy, either as a company or an individual, you will continue to do well regardless of a statistical double dip. If you are doing badly, you will continue to struggle whether or not the economic data are improving. (See 10 big recession surprises.)

GDP has been expanding since the third quarter of last year, graced by government spending and a steady though diminished level of domestic consumption. But as we all know, that growth — 5.6% in the fourth quarter of last year and 2.7% in the first quarter of this year — has been accompanied by high unemployment and little job creation. In short, this has been an economic recovery that has felt like a continued recession.

That’s because for a significant portion of the population, it is a continued recession. Not only is the real unemployment rate (combining workers who have dropped out of the workforce and the headline numbers, together with workers classified as marginally attached to the workforce) in the midteens, but the amount of hours worked has declined, as have many incomes. If you combine that with the scarcity of consumer credit and the uncertainty about the social safety net, tens of millions of Americans are facing a grave economic future. Particularly for men who lack a college education and were or are in an industry that depends on manual labor (construction and manufacturing above all), this is a perilous time.


Though global equities have rallied modestly after a sharp plunge in May and June and companies have announced strong earnings, sentiment about the future remains gloomy. In response to intense concerns about a looming double-dip recession, business leaders have complained to White House officials that government policy is inhibiting job creation and that uncertainty about new regulations is discouraging them from investing their $1.8 trillion in accumulated corporate cash. On the flip side, Democrats in Congress effectively cornered the Republicans to extend unemployment benefits yet again, a direct response to the undeniable fact that the unemployed are facing a severe challenge to find work. Leer más “A Double Dip Recession? Who Cares?”

The Perilous Problem of the Persistently Jobless

Posted by Stephen Gandel

For a time now my editor Rick Stengel has been asking the question: Why won’t unemployment stay at around 10%. That is to say, even after the economy pulls out of the recession how do we know that unemployment won’t remain where it is today. Perhaps 10% is the new 5%, when it comes to unemployment. We have afterall outsourced many of our manufacturing jobs and some of our service jobs to China, India and elsewhere. So if we make a lot less than we used to and do a lot less than we used to, whose to say that unemployment won’t remain stubbornly high, no matter which way the economy is headed.

My response a year ago or so ago when Stengel started to ask the question was because it can’t. I majored in Economics and know from my classes that the long-run frictionless rate of unemployment in the economy is about 5%. Once the economy got a kick-start, that’s where the jobs numbers would be headed again rather quickly.


Posted by Stephen Gandel

For a time now my editor Rick Stengel has been asking the question: Why won’t unemployment stay at around 10%. That is to say, even after the economy pulls out of the recession how do we know that unemployment won’t remain where it is today. Perhaps 10% is the new 5%, when it comes to unemployment. We have afterall outsourced many of our manufacturing jobs and some of our service jobs to China, India and elsewhere. So if we make a lot less than we used to and do a lot less than we used to, whose to say that unemployment won’t remain stubbornly high, no matter which way the economy is headed.

My response a year ago or so ago when Stengel started to ask the question was because it can’t. I majored in Economics and know from my classes that the long-run frictionless rate of unemployment in the economy is about 5%. Once the economy got a kick-start, that’s where the jobs numbers would be headed again rather quickly. Leer más “The Perilous Problem of the Persistently Jobless”

Planning For Retirement at Any Age

The market crashed — then recovered. Feeling safer? To battle the uncertainty, check out our five-part series on how to plan for retirement now.

It’s All About Good Habits and Long Term Plans

If you’re in your 20s, the path to retirement is as clear as ever. Sure, there are some bumps to maneuver: the job market is tough right now, and your near-term career advancement and earnings power may have been curbed by the recession and a whole bunch of under-saved 60-somethings staying at work longer to make ends meet. But these are short-term issues that will disappear in time. Meanwhile, your young age gives you plenty of time to prepare.


The market crashed — then recovered. Feeling safer? To battle the uncertainty, check out our five-part series on how to plan for retirement now.

It’s All About Good Habits and Long Term Plans

If you’re in your 20s, the path to retirement is as clear as ever. Sure, there are some bumps to maneuver: the job market is tough right now, and your near-term career advancement and earnings power may have been curbed by the recession and a whole bunch of under-saved 60-somethings staying at work longer to make ends meet. But these are short-term issues that will disappear in time. Meanwhile, your young age gives you plenty of time to prepare. Leer más “Planning For Retirement at Any Age”