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Job cuts don’t mean mass layoffs in looming global recession

Almost three years after Covid-19 hit, companies around the world still complain that they can’t get the talent they need.

November 28, 2022 / 07:17 AM IST
Restaurants are struggling to find staff as the pandemic fades. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

Restaurants are struggling to find staff as the pandemic fades. Photographer: Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg

The global economy is stuttering, and some of the world’s biggest names are already laying off thousands of employees. But there’s a glimmer of good news: This time around, workers have a better-than-usual shot at holding onto their jobs if recession arrives.

Almost three years after Covid-19 hit, companies around the world still complain that they can’t get the talent they need. They worry about labor shortages that will likely last beyond not just the pandemic, but the next downturn too. Deeper forces, such as changes in population and immigration, are shrinking the pool of workers they can hire from.

All of this means that despite weakening demand for their goods and services, many businesses are looking to retain or even add staff, rather than let them go — hoarding labor that they know they’ll need once the economy starts accelerating again.

There have been plenty of high-profile layoff announcements lately, from the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. But they may prove to be outliers. That would make the coming economic slowdown very different, and in some ways less painful, than the ones the world has gotten used to.