Columnist: New jobs outpacing layoffs

Headlines that blare news of thousands of layoffs are missing a big part of the workplace story, writes Sherwood Ross, a columnist for Reuters:

"What the layoff headlines do not say ... is that many of the ousted employees are transferred to other positions within the same companies. As the press deals with individual firms, some writers may overlook the fact that, over all, new-jobs creation is outpacing layoffs," writes Mr. Ross.

Supporting his point, Ross quotes Ron Bird, chief economist of the nonprofit Employment Policy Foundation, in Washington: "Although 14.2 million people were cut from payrolls last year, employers created 15.9 million new jobs - for a net gain of 1.7 million additional positions."

Ross also quotes Bird as saying the outlook "is still better than it has been ..., especially for people who have skills that are in demand."

The columnist cites a range of other sources as saying human capital will remain in high demand.

And he notes: "Not a single economic forecaster polled by Business Week expects a recession this year and, on average, the magazine's panel of experts predicted the economy will grow by a respectable 3.1 percent during 2001."

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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