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Victims of Downsizing

Why is finding and keeping a job more difficult today then it was a decade ago? Let's label the fallen dominoes one by one: an increasingly spongy national economy; a decline in the number of manufacturing industries, particularly some of those related to defense; shrinking corporate profits; consolidation by acquisition and merger; massive organizational change; frequent business failure.

Since 1980, these overlapping phenomenon have brought about the elimination of some 4.3 million jobs in Fortune 500 companies alone. Many have been middle-management jobs slashed to control growing business losses by flattening corporate infrastructure. Others have been phased out of existence by the relentless advance of technology--not just until a particular industry rebounds from whatever malaise has paralyzed it, but gone forever.