Downsizing is a recurring activity in corporate America. The American Management Association's 1994 survey on downsizing reports that, on average, two-thirds of the firms that cut jobs in a given calendar year will do so again the following year. In this survey, 72 percent of the responding companies downsized in at least one calendar year since January 1989; 46 percent in at least two years; 27 percent in three years or more. Clearly, American businesses now believe that periodic downsizing has become essential to staying competitive.

Personnel reductions will likely continue in industries employing chemical professionals. Recent activity has been primarily in the pharmaceutical industry, where there have been eight major acquisitions between November 1993 and January 1995. An article in the National Business Employment Weekly (Employment Briefs, March 5-March 11, 1995, page 27) noted that the pharmaceutical industry ranks fourth in numbers of employees separated, behind retailing,...

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