Employment Falls in 2009

Employment at instrument and lab product firms can be expected to decline this year. Numerous companies announced layoffs and hiring freezes in the fourth quarter of 2008 (see IBO 2/28/09) in response to a sharp and sudden downturn in sales, including Varian (see IBO 1/31/09) and Mettler-Toledo (see IBO 3/15/09). In 2009, so far, the employee reductions appear to be ongoing. In the latest example, Thermo Fisher Scientific reduced employee levels in its Analytical Technologies and Laboratory Products and Services segments by 230 and 330, respectively, in the first quarter. Thermo also implemented short-term furloughs. In April, Sartorius AG announced job cuts and reduced working hours for employees in its Mechatronics Division. The plan is expected to lower staffing costs by over €20 million ($26 million).

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