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Some of the forecasters said the nation's unemployment rate could rise as high as 9 percent for all of 2009 and hit 10 percent next year. In 2008, the jobless rate averaged 5.8 percent, the highest since 2003.
The survey's median forecast—or middle point—called for the unemployment rate to rise to 8.4 percent this year and 8.8 percent next year.
Companies touching every part of the economy have announced thousands of layoffs already this year and more cuts came last week.
Brace yourself: The recession is projected to worsen this year.
As you all know the downturn we are operating in is more severe and global than anything we have seen before. No company is immune to its effects. I want to take this opportunity, today, to write to you about how we will manage such an important leadership transition, and why I am convinced that today our company is not only well-positioned financially and competitively, but is on the cusp of a new phase of growth. Remember, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy over a year ago.
We are in the midst of a phase of history in which nations will be redefined and their futures fundamentally altered. Many people will be under extreme pressure and many companies mortally wounded. Our competitors will be sorely tempted to take the easy beat, to reduce quality in the search for immediate dividends.
Let me be very clear about our company: where others might step back from their commitment to their viewers, their users, readers and customers – we will renew ours.
I want to set the record straight about recent speculation that News Limited is planning massive job cuts. This speculation is wrong.
The current downturn is worse than past recessions. I regret that there have already been some redundancies and unquestionably there will be more. Let me make it very clear that there is no quota or target for redundancies across our businesses.
We have dealt with past downturns largely by cutting costs. Cutting costs is necessary in this environment. But cost cutting on its own is not the answer. I am determined that we don’t undermine the quality of what we do, especially our journalism.