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While 16 percent of respondents who were queried for the October 2011 survey said their departments laid off one or more employees in the past year, and 13 percent said the number of hours some employees work had been reduced, 38 percent said they had added full-time employees, and another 26 percent added some part-timers. As for 2012, 60 percent don’t expect to see any staffing changes in their offices, while 34 percent are planning to add to their rosters this year.
Not surprisingly, the main culprit for those who reduced their CME office staffing levels was the economy, said 46 percent of respondents. Another 36 percent said changes in available commercial support also caused them to take a hit in 2011, and 21 percent blamed changes in the types of formats of CME activities being produced now. A rise in the number of virtual and online events (18 percent), along with increasing state and federal regulations affecting healthcare provider/industry interactions (16 percent), and changes in the level of financial support given to the department by the parent organization (13 percent) also were factors. Other factors cited for layoffs included “Lack of programs,” “lack of work,” “fewer jobs,” “less income,” and “lack of industry funding.”
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