During economic downturns, training dollars might appear to be a tempting line item to cut or re-evaluate as companies shed workers. Some companies will likely adjust their thinking in the recession, tracking return on investment more closely and restricting limited dollars to the most talented employees, training leaders say. In 2008, average training expenditures per employee fell about 11%, from $1,202 per learner in 2007 to $1,075 per learner last year. The US corporate training market shrank from $58.5 billion in 2007 to $56.2 billion in 2008, the greatest decline in more than 10 years, according to the report, which was released in January. As Southwest Airlines negotiated economic and security uncertainties after the Sep 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the company didn't ratchet back on training, says Elizabeth Bryant, senior director of talent development. But the airline's leaders knew their employees needed to develop maximum adaptability amid a rapidly evolving airline industry she says.