Job cuts this year have been concentrated in small businesses, which bodes ill for the overall economy for several reasons, writes Carol Tice. First, small businesses will generally make all other cost cuts before laying off workers, many of whom have become like family -- or really are. "If small business owners are sending workers out the door, you know the business is in real trouble," writes Tice. Smaller firms also don't generally offer generous severance packages typical at larger firms, leaving laid-off workers without a cushion.

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