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Nearly 40 Percent of Employers Plan to Trim Benefits and Office Perks This Year, Finds New CareerBuilder.com Survey

CHICAGO, February 18, 2009 - As U.S. companies navigate through serious economic challenges and await the anticipated impact of the economic stimulus plan, managers are looking for ways to curb overall operating expenses. Nearly four-in-ten (38 percent) employers say the current economy will force them to make administrative cuts sometime this year, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey. The survey was conducted among more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals between November 12 and December 1, 2008.


Employees can expect fewer social functions and business trips in 2009. Among employers expecting administrative cuts at their organizations this year, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) indicate that they will be cutting or scaling back company social events such as picnics and holiday parties. Sixty-one percent will curtail business travel.

Health and wellness benefits are also being impacted as employers take measures to weather today’s economic situation. One-in-four employers (25 percent) expect to scale back on healthcare benefits and one-in-ten (11 percent) plan to reduce wellness benefits.

Other areas companies plan to cut or reduce spending on include:

  • Special office perks - i.e. coffee, ice machines, discounted vending - (34 percent)

  • Incentive trips - (28 percent)

  • Philanthropic activities - (21 percent)

"Employers are making tough decisions on where they can allocate spending and resources during this downturn while at the same time keeping in mind the importance of retaining their top talent," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder.com. "While reigning in spending in certain areas, we also see companies offering more flexible work arrangements and placing an increased emphasis on employee recognition programs to help maintain job satisfaction levels within their organizations."

Nearly four-in-ten (39 percent) of employers say they are now offering increased telecommuting and flexible work schedules to help employees reduce their commuting costs. Other perks include public transportation discounts and incentives, compressed workweeks, and increased mileage reimbursement rates.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 3,259 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non government) ages 18 and over between November 12 and December 1, 2008 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset US Employers or Employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,259 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.72 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder.com
CareerBuilder.com is the nation’s largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1.6 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. CareerBuilder.com powers the career centers for more than 1,600 partners, including 140 newspapers and leading portals such as AOL and MSN. More than 300,000 employers take advantage of CareerBuilder.com’s easy job postings, 28 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. CareerBuilder.com and its subsidiaries operate in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.careerbuilder.com.

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164
(E) jennifer.grasz@careerbuilder.com