The layoff ax is Forbes' 'capitalist tool'

Looks like Forbes.com will be updating its layoff tracker very shortly.

It was only a matter of time until Forbes slashed more staff at its Web site and thinning magazine. Beginning this morning, Forbes handed out pink slips to its unaware employees, allowing them two weeks to finish up work, clear out their desks, and say their good-byes, says a laid-off Forbes employee.

Forbes began its layoffs last November when it shut down its Forbes Autos site and left a skeleton staff at Forbes Traveler. In January of this year, staff suffered another blow when 19 people were laid off after the magazine and Web operations merged. According to my friends at Forbes, today's layoffs affected more than 50 people across the company, including the editorial, human resources, audience development and product management departments.

My sources say laid off employees will receive at least five weeks of severance pay, which is obviously better than nothing, but when the entire media industry is making drastic cuts and resorting to hiring freezes, laid-off employees should just use this money to take a long, needed vacation.

"I should've been sad," says a former Forbes.com audience development coordinator, "but I wasn't. I survived two rounds of cuts, so I feel lucky to have made it this far. With no one hiring, I think I'm going to take a trip to see family in Miami."

Is this a final round of layoffs for Forbes? I hope so. It's always heartbreaking to hear my friends' desperation for their and their families' future. My tipsters, however, claim another round of layoffs will follow next month.

Disclaimer: I am a former Forbes.com employee.

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