Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Bracing for the pink slip epidemic

October 24, 2008

After a seemingly endless run of job cuts this week, Chrysler’s plan to slash a whopping 25 percent of its white-collar jobs handily goes to show how quickly problems in the finance sector leak into the rest of the economy.

Taken alongside cuts at Yahoo, Xerox and others, could this be the beginning of the so-called “pink slip epidemic”?

“When the dot-com and housing bubbles burst, it was easy to see what types of jobs would disappear. But these days as nervous lenders cower and credit contracts, virtually every industry is likely to be scathed in the widely predicted downturn,” writes Business Week‘s Moira Herbst.

The Wall Street Journal paints a similarly dire picture, noting that once-sheltered industries such as healthcare and technology are likely to feel the pinch, culminating in more job cuts and a steeper economic slump than most imagined.

But is that a bright spot? Breaking Views via the New York Times writes that Goldman Sachs’ plans to slash its headcount by 3,300 might not necessarily be a signal of doom. After all, Goldman managed to sidestep much of the credit damage that befell its peers, and its downsizing plans will bring it in line with rival Morgan Stanley. Is it just a simple game of catch up?

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