The lay-off legacy

The oil and gas industry will find enough people to do the work required of it. But it will pay dearly for them.A study published this month by John S. Herold Inc., Stamford, Conn., assesses the head-slashing conducted by large oil and gas companies during the past dozen years. It doesn't make for pleasant reading. Some numbers:Since 1988, the largest 25 surviving oil companies have reduced their combined payroll by an average of 5.2%/year. There was only 1 year of gain during that period-1997, when employment rose by 1.1%. A resumption of lay-offs the following year wiped out the increase.Since 1982, the industry's peak employment year, the 25 largest oil companies have cut headc...

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