Independent agents and brokers, responding to a years-long soft market, already have been doing more with less and are implementing fewer of the layoffs and other cost-cutting methods that so many U.S. businesses have adopted in the past year in response to the recession.

In a recent online survey of almost 500 AA&B readers, nearly 36 percent reported taking no cost-cutting measures over the past year. When implemented, the most common methods were salary freezes (33 percent) followed by layoffs (18 percent) and benefits reduction or elimination (17 percent).

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