In case you missed it: Aug. 21

As my astute colleague Christy Hagler noted in our last "In case you missed it," the summer is definitely coming to an end. Whether the recession is too seems to be a lot less certain. Here's a quick recap of some of the top talent and workforce management headlines over the past three weeks:

The Wall Street Journal: Small Firms Rack Up Job Losses. The Labor Department reported this week that companies that employed fewer than five workers accounted for 14.5 percent of the job losses in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 16.8 percent of the job gains.

The Wall Street Journal: Jobless Claims Climb in Latest Week. New jobless claims rose 15,000 to 576,000 last week, suggesting that labor market conditions remain difficult. But leading indicators advanced in July.

Vanguard: Economic Week in Review: Economy slowly progressing. We continue to get mixed messages from economic reports, some signaling an imminent recovery and others hinting toward a more prolonged turnaround. Last quarter, businesses continued to reduce workforce and cut hours in order to boost profits.

Workforce Management's The Business of Management: A Little Light at the End of the Recession Tunnel. A recent survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide on the "Effect of the Economic Crisis on HR Programs" found that the number of employers planning to reverse salary cuts, freezes, and other measures implemented to cope with the economy has increased in the past two months.

Fistful of Talent: Nooo! Don't Let This Recession End. Not Yet! While most recent economic discussions have centered on the mess the recession is causing, this blogger highlights the good to come out of it, particularly in regards to the talent pool and leveraging it.

Regardless of when you anticipate the recession to end, it's never too early to prepare your workforce. Businesses will need to aggressively and successfully rebuild their workforces when the time is right, and planning is the fist step that addresses this need.


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