A sharper focus on maintenance and reliability as companies attempt to get the very most out of their equipment may account for some of the lag in employment gains in the current economic recovery, according to this article. "Companies have simply found a way to produce their goods and services with significantly fewer employees. One secret to this success is the continued focus on reliability as the key ingredient to improving output while decreasing per unit costs," writes Mark Ruby, senior vice president of the reliability consulting group at Life Cycle Engineering.

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