- Nearly half of U.S. employees (48%) experience layoff anxiety, according to a new study by CareerArc, a social recruiting and on-demand outplacement firm. The CareerArc Layoff Anxiety Study, conducted by The Harris Poll, also found that 34% of those workers have fears stoked by the possibility of an upcoming recession.
- The Great Recession of 2008 impacted respondents in the study; 74% of those who were laid off, terminated or experienced some kind of joblessness during that time said they suffer from layoff anxiety, and 36% fear an impending recession, despite months of record-low unemployment rates and steady economic growth.
- CareerArc said layoff anxiety doesn't mean people are prepared for joblessness; 47% of the respondents said they're not ready to cope with being without a job.
The economy is flashing signs of a coming recession, according to reports by the Washington Post. The U.S. stock market had its worst day of 2019 on Wednesday, the Post said, with the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting 800 points after losing about 7% in the past three weeks. The U.S. job rates create some tension with this reality, however, since the unemployment rate, currently at 3.7%, has remained historically low.
U.S. businesses may not want to think about a possible recession, but employers can — and should — prepare for a potential economic downturn, experts told HR Dive. Bhushan Sethi, partner and joint leader of the Financial Services People and Organization practice at PwC, said that employers should, first, recognize workers' anxiety over joblessness, he previously told HR Dive. HR, for its part, should adopt transparent communication policies, which entail providing workers with frequent and factual information, regardless of the issue, and have a plan for navigating layoffs that is fair, transparent and clear.