With the unpredictable stock market, the job front doesn't look like it's headed in the right direction any time soon. Employers are still hesitant to hire, and in many cases, workforce reductions are continuing. Despite the economic troubles companies are facing, most employers are not cutting back on severance packages or unemployment benefits.  

In fact, according to a recent survey by WorldatWork, most employers still provide one or two weeks' severance pay for each year of service, and virtually half of employers offer outplacement benefits to all terminated employees while 36 percent of employers provide it on an individual basis, an increase from 27 percent in 2009.

The lack of severance package drop off, even when companies are looking to cut costs in all possible areas, is likely because offering a severance package is a sign of good will, says Dave Smith, a staff attorney for the Mountain States Employers Council, an employers' association that helps members with HR and employment law issues. By offering a severance package, employers are typically hopeful that former employees will have some extra financial security during their unwarranted departures, and any legal ramifications will be avoided.

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