JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – January is breaking layoff records and economic analysts say there is little doubt a significant amount of future layoffs are on the way. That adds to the layoffs that battered America at the end of 2022.
Historically, January can be the worst month for job cuts.
There are a number of contributing factors to the problems this year.
Technology. The pandemic led to more people working from home and tech companies expanded to meet that increased demand. Now that fewer people are working from home tech companies are laying people off.
The second factor is the war in Ukraine. It affects the economy and the labor market.
The third factor feeding layoffs is fear of recession.
So, you hear the rumors about impending layoffs at your company and they naturally cause worry and anxiety. Employment experts say focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t. They advise starting with some financial planning.
“It’s really a good idea here and, and even, you know, regardless of the economic cycle this time of year, it’s a great idea to have an assessment of what your assets are, what your income is and what your expenses are,” said Joe Krier, a financial analyst with Tidal Flow Trading. “You know, just a simple balance sheet, an income statement, get a look at yourself and then you can kind of see whether you can withstand a layoff or not or whether you need to make some changes before something happens in that area.”
If you do get that pink slip, you do have rights.
“Employees at this point in history have more rights than they’ve ever had in their life,” Krier said. “In addition to Cobra and continuation of benefits there are transition packages available from the companies that are doing layoffs.
“These are big corporations and they can actually help people find their next job even though they’re the ones administering the pain a little bit.,” said Krier.
It’s also a good time to reflect on what you’re good at and what you want to be good at.
“Perhaps you need to do some self-assessment because they’re contributing more than you were or you were just in the wrong company that didn’t fit your skill set,” Krier said. “(Matching) your skill set to go along with those assets, income and expenses is a great place to start. And then you can go turn to some of these great job sites that do a wonderful job of matching your skill set with open positions.”
Despite the record layoffs, there are still job opportunities.
“The economy had two massive shocks here between the pandemic and the war in Ukraine and that created massive shifts in the work force,” said Krier. “And then you try to go out to a restaurant and get a table and half of it’s empty, but they won’t seat you because there’s no staff working there. So eventually what’s going to happen here is we’re gonna have a reallocation of a workforce and some of those lower income paying jobs are just going to have to pay more to attract workers that are getting laid off from higher paying jobs turn to smaller businesses.”
Krier adds there is a silver lining to everything that is going on.
“Yes, I really think there is,” he said. “This is a long term issue that low and middle income workers have not kept pace with inflation. So recessions reset things.
“Bad companies go out of business (creating a ) nimble workforce,” said Krier. “The millennials proved themselves in the pandemic. (Proved) that they can adapt to whatever is coming.
“In my opinion businesses need workers badly and across the board,” Krier said. Any business with less than 1,000 employees is starving for people right now.”
For the most part.
Krier believes not everything is negative and that the next year will be a period of transition and what the nation will deal with “will be better than inflation.”