"People are our most important resource." Except during recessions, when it suits shareholders to lay them off.
Institutional shareholders have always seemed a little short-sighted, if the desires that senior management attribute to them are to be believed. They're in favor of gaining a few points of EPS today, even if it means losing chunks of market share tomorrow--when a competitor is quicker to the spot of an economic recovery.
They always seem to forget that recessions always end as silently as they began, and that if you're hiring skilled labor to meet new demand, then you're probably too late. Your only hope is that your competition has been as short-sighted as yourself.
This time around, we're also being told that IT jobs are safe because companies need IT more than ever. But we were also told that 2009 IT budgets wouldn't be cut for the same reasons: competitive advantage.
That said, Obama's stimulus package could save--or even increase--IT jobs.
In any case, Corporate America is faced with an opportunity to disillusion a whole new generation of employees. It will be interesting to how they handle things during this recession, compared with what companies did in the early 1990s.