I would say that the extent to which you need to know math is going to vary a lot by project (obviously) and a lot by firm and staffing model. In a firm that follows a networking-centric staffing model, there's a lot more emphasis put on the skills & capabilities that you bring to the table--which means that even after you've gotten into the firm, you might not be able to get the kind of projects that you want. Other firms or more centrally-driven, which means that if they need a body on a project, they will put you on it if you're available. In that sense, you may need to know math better (or at least have the ability to learn the necessary skills pretty quickly).
Also, as far as layoffs are concerned, I think that a lot of the staff actions happened earlier in the year (around january and february). Partners might be seeing more now (since the staff has really been trimmed down), but I don't know that most firms (or at least, my firm) really have a lot of opportunity to lay off staff right now, just because we're all very utilized.
(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )