Pay freezes and wage cuts have doubled since January

There's more to life than layoffs --there are also pay freezes and wage cuts. Indeed, the number of companies cutting salaries or implementing freezes has doubled since January of this year, according to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Playing with pay is hardly surprising in this market, but the alternatives to layoffs may be signaling that companies are watching their capabilities more carefully.

A survey of human resources executives in May found that more than half (52.4 percent) had cut compensation instead of positions, ostensibly in an effort to control expenses without impairing capabilities. In January, the same survey yielded 27.2 percent. The number of companies cutting positions, on the other hand, fell from 56 percent to 43 percent from January to May.