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Layoff, also called redundancy in the UK, is the temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee or a group of employees for business reasons, such as when certain positions are no longer necessary or when a business slow-down occurs. Originally the term layoff referred exclusively to a temporary interruption in work, as when factory work cyclically falls off. The term however nowadays usually means the permanent elimination of a position, requiring the addition of "temporary" to specify the original meaning. Many synonyms such as downsizing exist, most of which are euphemisms or doublespeak and more abstract descriptions of the process, most of which can also be used for more inclusive processes than that of reducing the number of employees. Downsizing is defined as the "conscious use of permanent personnel reductions in an attempt to improve efficiency and/or effectiveness". Since the 1980s, downsizing has become increasingly common. Indeed, recent research on downsizing in the U.S., UK, and Japan suggests that downsizing is being regarded by management as one of the preferred routes to turning around declining organisations, cutting costs, and improving organisational performance, most often as a cost-cutting measure. (via Freebase)