Tech and media layoffs have been in the headlines lately. But combined, the two top industries only account for about 5% of U.S. employment, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Other industries are also cutting jobs, including the auto industry, manufacturing and financial services. Unemployment is expected to worsen as the Fed slows the economy in a continued effort to bring inflation under control.
Which jobs are most at risk and which are the safest? And what if you still have a job or are looking for one during the economic transition?
2023 jobs most at risk
Outsource Accelerator, an offshore labor market, analyzed data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the industries with the highest layoff rates in 2022 to calculate potential layoffs in 2023.
It probably won’t come as a surprise, but the arts, entertainment and recreation industry topped the list with the lowest job security and highest layoff rate last year: 2, 98%. If this layoff trend continues this year, it would equate to an average of 69,400 job cuts – per month.
Construction jobs were the second most at risk, with an average layoff rate of 1.8%, equivalent to 139,200 workers losing their jobs every month.
More: More than 55,000 global tech workers lost their jobs in 2023: layoff data tracker
Even one of the largest employment sectors, professional and business services, had a layoff rate of 1.56%. It represents a wide range of careers in the office with 22.6 million employees, including accounting, advertising, IT services, engineering and more. A similar layoff trend in 2023 would mean a monthly average of 353,000 people losing their jobs.
Of course, there’s the time-worn investment caveat that “past performance does not guarantee future results,” and that applies here. Just because an industry has experienced a certain rate of layoffs in one year does not necessarily mean that it will continue at the same rate the following year. But while unemployment in the United States remains staggeringly low, layoffs are mounting as employers — large and small — brace for a slowing economy.
Read: ‘It’s an employer’s market’: Tech layoffs may have turned big quit into big hire
The same analysis identified the industries offering the greatest job security. They were:
The federal government, with a layoff rate of 0.22%. Still, that would project an average of 7,000 employees being laid off each month.
National and local education (0.3%; 33,600 dismissals per month).
Finance and insurance industry (0.4%; 35,100 redundancies per month).
One more blow for financially vulnerable people
First, rising prices have strained already meager economies. It is the scourge of inflation. Today, as economists ponder ways to cool the business climate, low- and middle-income workers may worry about fewer paid hours or the complete loss of income.
And that follows the financial hammering of the pandemic that hit those who were most financially vulnerable.
In 2021, a Brookings Institution study found that low-wage workers made up 43% of the pre-pandemic workforce. A year into the COVID-19 economy, these same low-wage workers made up more than half (52%) of those considered “displaced” – in other words, their jobs had yet to recover. at the same rate as higher paying jobs.
“The loss of a job can be devastating for anyone, regardless of income level. But it can be especially turbulent for those who are already living paycheck to paycheck or have no other sources of income,” the study says.
Here’s what you can do to give yourself greater immunity to job cuts.
Protect and advance your career
No one is immune to layoffs. But increasing your value – to yourself, your employer, and your future employer – can help reduce your long-term occupational risk.
Here are some ideas.
Separate yourself from the pack
It’s easy to come down in tough times. Negativity reigns. You might find that water cooler chats (or Zoom chats) quickly turn into anything that’s wrong at work or in the world. Push yourself into positive territory.
While remaining compassionate, switch the room to conquest mode. Highlight individual successes, even if they are minor. Talk about businesses that have survived and thrived in tough times. Inspire.
Expand your responsibilities
When a company is looking to downsize, it is often looking to eliminate underperforming or borderline employees. Do more. Perform tasks that need to be done, but may not be part of your swim lane. Volunteer for new projects or take on assignments when everyone else is stepping down.
To see: What to do if you’re laid off : Take a deep breath and make these 6 money moves
Think of training as a side gig
Lots of people take side gigs when money is tight. They find joy turning up the music in their car while door dashing, or wearing pajamas and Wicked Good Moccasins while earning money online.
Make one of your side gigs get more training in a field with a quality professional future. It may be a certification related to your current job. Or maybe a Google certificate that takes three to six months to complete and connects you to in-demand jobs. You could take a series of college courses to hone skills such as marketing, finance, technology, graphic design, writing, public speaking, or a second language.
Improve your value in the job market.
In any case, save money like never before
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase JPM,
is one of the few financial industry leaders still in the chair of a major bank long before the 2008 financial crisis. He has often spoken of how the bank built a “cash pit” to protect it during difficult times.
“Our bank operates in a complex and sometimes volatile world,” he said in a letter to investors in 2017. “We must maintain a fortress balance sheet if we are to continuously invest and support our clients through thick and thin. “
To see: Paying off debt or trying to save more and spend less? Consider these tactics.
You may want to build your own savings fortress. Start with sensible ways to reduce your expenses. Money in the bank gives you room to breathe in the bad times and the good times. And, at worst, know what to do with your money after a layoff.
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