The survey, complied by local human resources organization The QTI Group, reveals the majority of the employers surveyed do not plan to make major employment changes.
However, these statistics change when looking at specific industries.
Manufacturing accounted for the industry projecting the most layoffs while bio-tech, healthcare, and insurance projected more stability and growth.
Other employers are looking to attrition to help avoid lay-offs.
Marshall Heyworth, COO of QTI Consulting, said, "last month, Business Week ranked Madison 4th in a list of top cities to ride out the recession. Even with relatively low unemployment, and the security of government and university sectors, for employers in the manufacturing sector or other industries hit by this downturn there is not a lot of comfort in that ranking".
When employers were asked about salary increases for 2009, 36% indicated they adjusted their original salary increase budget downward due to the changes in the economy with the average increase in salary budget at only 3%.
Approximately 1/3 of the respondents stated that this salary budget increase will focus on key talent.
According to QTI Human Resources Consultant Matt Shefchik, "with the economy, employers will also look to incent key talent by strengthening the link between pay and performance, and focus on sales force effectiveness."
He also states that improved training and development of existing staff rated high for businesses across all industry sectors as they look for cost-saving efficiency measures in 2009.
Of those employers who project hiring needs in 2009, they are giving it forethought and expect their hiring to focus on those positions that require specialty skill sets.
Roughly a quarter of surveyed employers plan to hire temporary or part-time employees instead of full-time employees in 2009.
This illustrates the cautiousness of Dane County employers as the wait to see how and when the economy will turn.
Heyworth sums up the survey results by saying he "believes Dane County is well positioned for this downturn, but as you can see from the survey, a majority of organizations are cautious and looking at all ways they can hedge their investment in human resources."