There has been a lull in the number of big companies announcing the massive corporate lay-offs in which thousands of people are pushed out the doors. If huge American firms would stop aggressive chopping, the sharp rise in unemployment might slow.
Recent news, however, suggests that lay-offs may not be slowing at all. American Express (AXP) announced it would cut 4,000 people on top of earlier firings. Chrysler is extending buy-outs to more of its blue collar workers. The dealers that GM (GM) and Chrysler are closing down will have to fire tens of thousands of people. Medium-sized banks facing large real estate losses will not be able to keep on all of their employees.