One of the hallmarks of this recession is that even healthy companies are willing to cut costs and cut them more than once.
HP (HPQ) laid off 24,000 people a month ago, ostensibly because it was integrating newly purchased tech consulting firm EDS. It must have missed some people. The computer company is about to cut again.
HP is replacing the CEO of EDS with one of its own. The process is, according to The Wall Street Journal, "expected to allow H-P to continue to quickly realize its revenue growth and cost-efficiency goals for EDS." That is code for pushing more people out the door.
In the last quarter, HP made over $2.7 billion on $28 billion in sales. The company has $14 billion in cash. Nonetheless, it is still looking for efficiencies and may be looking harder than usual because it is feeling the effects of the economic slowdown.
If the US firms which are still well-off cut hundreds of thousands of more jobs, the process of trying to revive the economy will be much, much longer.
Douglas A. McIntyre