I just met recently with a business leader who used the downturn to layoff 10% of his workforce. He said he did not lose 10% of his productive capacity when he did this, since he kept the best workers. Efficiencies, driven by process reorganization and new technologies, make it possible to run leaner than before.
Throughout the economy, many firms are finding that they can increase output without hiring more workers. This portends more strong productivity growth in 2010, but also a relatively jobless recovery.