MAth
posted by Caroline .
I am working a percent change word problem 340 employees total and 56 laid off.? percent of decrease in employees.
34056= 284
284 divided by 340 = 0.835 = 83%
the book has an answer of 16%
what am I missing or is the book incorrect?

The book is correct. They are asking for the % of decrease, NOT what fraction are left.
56/340 are laid off. That is a reduction of 14/85 = 16.47% 
I see what you are saying, but how do I work this problem using the percent increase/decrease formula ?

Use the correct formula.
Percent decrease = (x1  x2)/x1 x 100, where
x1 is the original value and x2 is the new value, which is less if there is a decrease.
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