reduce the headcount


reduce the headcount
   to dismiss employees
   It is the bodies, not the headcount, who suffer the reduction:
    Smith is determined to turn the business round and stripping out costs and reducing the headcount will undoubtedly help. (Sunday Telegraph, 8 August 1999)
   A headcount reduction is what happens:
    He said 891 staff had left in the first quarter, bringing total headcount reduction to 2,041. (Daily Telegraph, 10 February 1999)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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