Sort of.... A layoff is a layoff, people lose their jobs and an awful experience.
But technology changes as do businesses. I'm an accountant, 50 years ago I'd probably have 20+ people reporting to me to get the job done that now my one employee and myself can get done. Instead of spending all of our time adding numbers on spreadsheets, leaving little time for analysis, we now spend most of our time analyzing and a lot less on compiling numbers. Progress - and it makes sense that accounting in general has dropped a lot of those heads yet provide more value to the company.
My point being that sometimes these "culling's" are just an accumulation of job redundancies that have built up since the last downturn and recessions are a good excuse to make the painful job cuts.