危即是机,失业浪潮下公司老板们的战略机遇——A second wave ——经济学人翻译

Some bosses may see an opportunity to restructure their workforce.


On october 6th Jerome Powell , the chairman of the Federal Reserve ,made a plea for immediate extra stimulus, arguing that “too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses”. Hours later President Donald Trump shocked usa Inc by declaring he wants no new stimulus until after the election in November (he later backtracked a bit). But do some company bosses see an opportunity in the prolonged pain of the pandemic?

10月6号,美联储主席 Jerome Powell 呼吁立即进行额外的刺激,他认为:”太少的支持将会导致恢复疲软,会给家庭和企业带来不必要的困难。“。几个小时后,美国总统特朗普宣布,除非他在12月份的选举中获胜,在此之前他不想出台新的刺激措施,这震惊了美国企业(后来,他又收回了这句话)。但是,是否有一些企业老板们,能从这场旷日持久的疫情中看到机会?

The sudden shutdown of big parts of the economy in spring forced over 20m people out of their jobs. As the economy rebounded during the summer, many went back to work and the rate of new lay-offs slowed. Yet the nature of the sackings is evolving, with a sharp rise in permanent unemployment (see chart). Now a new wave of layoffs suggests firms are getting ready to make deeper cuts. In recent days leading airlines have said they will cut over 30,000 workers. Disney, an entertainment giant, plans to shed 28,000. Regal Cinemas, the country’s second-biggest chain of theatres, is shutting all 500-plus venues in America (see Business section). Even LinkedIn, a social network used by professionals to find work, plans to lose nearly 1,000 employees in America and beyond.

春季,大部分经济的突然停止,使超过2000万人失业。夏季,随着经济的反弹,许多人重返岗位,而且新增裁员的速度也在放缓。然而,随着永久性失业人数的增加,裁员的性质正在发生着变化。现在,一波新的裁员浪潮显示,公司正在准备更大规模的裁员。最近几天,主要的航空公司都表示他们将裁员3万多人。娱乐行业巨头迪士尼计划裁员2.8万人。美国第二大连锁影院 帝王影院 关闭了全美500多家影院。甚至连专业人士来找工作的社交网络领英,也计划在美国及周边地区裁员1000人。

The disruption caused by the pandemic is one obvious explanation for deeper cuts in payroll. But David Garfield of AlixPartners, an advisory firm, reckons if companies must make do with only 70-90% of historical sales, as may happen with an anaemic recovery, they cannot survive without “major restructuring”. Mr Garfield believes firms must reduce complexity if they want to build resilience into supply and distribution networks. A recent study found that big grocery stores today offer 80% more varieties of products than the average store did three decades ago. Mondelez, a big consumer-products firm, plans to slash the number of stock-keeping units it offers by a quarter. Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble have made similar noises.

新冠造成的混乱是进一步削减工资的一个明显解释。但是咨询公司 AlixPartners 的 David Garfield 认为,正如经济复苏期间可能发生的那样,如果公司只能维持历史销售额的 70% – 90% ,那么不进行”重大重组“他们就无法生存。Garfield 先生相信,如果企业想在供应和分销网络实现复苏,他们就必须减少臃肿。最近的一项研究发现,今天的大型杂货店提供的产品种类比30年前的普通杂货店多了80% 。大型消费品公司 Mondelez 计划削减四分之一的库存。可口可乐和保洁也做出了类似的操作。

Bain, another consultancy, sees American companies “retooling for the new normal” by ploughing $5trn-10trn over the next decade into automation. This may kill old-fashioned jobs in the short term, but create new, tech-savvy ones over time.

另外一家咨询公司 Bain 认为,美国公司通过在未来的10年投入5-10万亿美元用于自动化实现”新常态重组“。这可能会在短期内扼杀旧的工作岗位,但是同时会产生新的精通技术的工作。

The jobs picture is likely to get worse before it gets better. The pandemic is the proximate cause, but the deeper driver is bosses preparing for a new economy. “This is your moment to strike as chief executive if you want a dramatic change in market share,” says Hernan Saenz of Bain.“Recessions are an amazing opportunity.”

就业形势在好转之前可能会变得更糟。新冠是表象原因,更深层次的驱动因素是因为老板们在为新的经济模式做准备。Bain 公司的 Hernan Saenz 说道:”如果你希望市场份额发生巨大的变化,现在就是你作为首席执行官初级的时候了,衰退是一个惊人的机会。“


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