Stamford, Conn. — Current economic pressures are forcing many companies to take a hard look at their compensation and incentive programs to find ways to cut costs, according to survey findings released today by global professional services firm Towers Perrin. Contrary to past economic downturns, however, the focus on mass workforce reductions has shifted to more targeted, strategic workforce reductions and cuts in other discretionary spending, the firm says.

The "pulse" survey of more than 450 companies from a range of industries, including insurance, and sizes was conducted in mid- to late October 2008, and provides the most current insights into how U.S. companies are thinking about the workforce and compensation trends in response to recent economic turbulence.

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