Two things -- managers' caution about additional hiring and their discipline in limiting fixed costs during 1991 through 1993 -- have put the securities industry in "much better shape" to handle a downturn than it has been in previous years, according to the Securities Industry Association.

"Unlike past cycles ... [announced] layoffs are more focused and considerably more modest," said Jeffrey M. Schaefer, senior vice president of research for the association.

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