It is enough for the average worker to feel a little uneasy about the safety of his job, especially given that many experts predict the United States will plunge into recession this year.
But for all headlines, national employment data doesn’t support the story of massive layoffs. Unemployment is still fairly low. There were also about 1.4 million layoffs and layoffs in November, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That may sound like a lot, but that number has remained relatively flat over the past two years.
Nick Bunker, director of economic research for North America at Indeed Hiring Lab, recently said layoff rates are actually lower than they were before the pandemic. luckTake the construction industry for example. The average layoff rate in the construction sector over the past six months was 1.8%, more than double his combined rate for the economy as a whole. However, this is below the average layoff rate of 2.9% in 2019.
Within a particular industry, layoffs and terminations can be different. For example, the finance and insurance sector saw an increase in layoffs of around 19,000 people between October and November. It’s definitely a surge, but it’s not the biggest surge we’ve seen in the last three years.
The technology sector also makes up a ‘minor’ share of all US employment. So it’s no surprise that other non-tech companies are doing better in terms of layoffs. What’s more, a Goldman Sachs economic research report released Monday found that layoffs have skyrocketed in this particular sector over the past two decades, which doesn’t reflect broader economic trends.
To be fair, perhaps the most accurate is that the data don’t show a spike in layoffs. yetSome experts point to the fact that many companies, especially in the tech industry, give weeks’ notice regarding furloughs and severance pay of up to six months. This means that data on layoffs can be delayed until those employees have officially finished their payroll.
But again, Goldman analysts recently confirmed advance layoff notices filed under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) Act, and while these filings have increased recently, , found that it was “just below the already historically low pre-pandemic rates.” Interestingly, Goldman found that many recently unemployed workers were able to find new jobs at a “healthy pace.”
“The above trends suggest that for the time being, the labor market is likely to continue rebalancing largely in its favored manner,” Goldman analysts wrote.
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