Ahead, the Summer of the Furlough
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2009 2:25 PM CDT
Department of Motor Vehicles employees protest mandatory furloughs in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Already-downsized companies seeking to cut costs further will likely increase temporary layoffs this summer, hoping the season will ease the pain of a missed paycheck, Fortune reports. A recent poll found that 44% of US companies are considering or have already implemented furloughs. But some institutions and employees are getting creative about the possibilities; furcation, anyone?

One university is scaling furlough days to salary, meaning the president takes the most unpaid time off. Elsewhere, companies are giving employees raises at the same time they instruct them to take unpaid leave. The furloughs are necessary to cut costs while maintaining workforces already stretched thin. “No one knows where the bottom is,” one exec said, “so companies have taken successive bites out of the apple.”