People running corporations today are under intense pressure to try to maintain profit margins at a time of very, very weak consumer demand and also considerable volatility in export demand. 

The classic response under those circumstances is to shed labor because for most enterprises, that’s just a huge part of the costs.  And we’ve seen businesses push for greater efficiency and higher productivity from smaller workforces now since the crisis began in 2007.  

I see no obvious reason why this should stop except that businesses are reaching the limits of what they can squeeze out of a downsized workforce.  That’s the only reason that downsizing would drop out of our vocabulary.  We’ve reached the maximum.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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