On October 30, 2019, Ron Taylor was quoted in SHRM regarding common reasons why businesses layoff employees. According to the article, the trade war between the United States and China, plus the length of time that has passed since the last recession, have CEOs and HR leaders wondering when the next recession will be. However, even if the economy is strong, layoffs occur more often than one might think.
Regardless of whether a recession is imminent, employers need to be ready for the possibility of changed circumstances or a repositioning in their business that necessitates a reduction in force (RIF). According to Taylor, common reasons for a RIF include:
- A need or desire to restructure. An employer may choose to eliminate duplicative positions following a merger or acquisition, or realign functions to achieve efficiencies.
- To reduce costs. A company might lay off workers in reaction to reduced demand for a product or to cut labor costs.
- To eliminate a function. Employers could outsource a function that the company can no longer perform efficiently, or cease a function made unprofitable by competition or obsolete by technological advances.
- To relocate. Relocation of operations to a new site, city, state, or country may result in layoffs in the old location.