Why You'll Probably Have Your Job For the Rest of the Year
Few companies are planning large-scale layoffs for the remainder of this year
Although unemployment has come down from the recessionary levels of the previous decade, it sometimes feels as if layoffs are continuing at robust pace. Every few days, it seems, comes an announcement of another round of large-scale job cuts. One week it’s Bank of America, the next it’s Hewlett-Packard, the week after that it’s Best Buy. When will it ever end?
If a new survey issued by Right Management (a subsidiary of staffing company ManpowerGroup) is any guide, the answer is: just about now. The survey’s results indicate that a chunky 69% of the over 1,100 companies polled do not plan any layoffs at all through the end of this year. Meanwhile, a mere 1% of respondents – in other words, around 10 or 11 in total – indicated that they would enact large-scale firings. Of the remaining companies polled, 11% anticipated selective layoffs while 19% didn’t know what they would do.
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If that news was good for the American wage earner, it was even better for his or her colleague abroad. The full survey covered nearly 15,000 companies in 41 countries. The global results? A robust 78% were planning no layoffs whatsoever, a level nearly 10 percentage points higher than that of U.S. firms. It should be kept in mind, however, that other parts of the world (such as Europe) often have much more employee-friendly legislation in place that limits the powers of enterprises to fire workers.
The survey was part of a broader, more sweeping report issued by ManpowerGroup on the subject of employment prospects in the near future. According to the report’s findings, in the just-started third quarter of this economic year, 21% of the approximately 18,000 American employers surveyed were planning to increase staff levels. This was a notable bump from the 18% with similar plans in the just-ended second quarter. Meanwhile, the level of those anticipating staff cuts held steady, at 6%.
The study notes that 3Q represents the 11th straight quarter of improvement in a metric the company terms the “net employment outlook” (essentially the difference between the percentage of businesses that plan to take on workers, and those who believe they will shed employees, adjusted for seasonality). Better, the more positive view seems to be common among businesses in every one of the fifty states, and across all industries.
Those pieces of data are very encouraging, but we have to remember that we’re far from out of the woods yet. Unemployment is down, yes, but compared to the pre-recessionary days of the early 2000s it’s still higher than it needs to be for a robust economic recovery.
Additionally, after the unemployment rate began to slide down last August it has stalled a bit. Just after falling to its lowest level in over two years this past April, it rose slightly in the subsequent month. So despite the good news, it’s wise to remain cautious. We should utilize all our resources to either keep the job we have or find a new one at a firm that isn’t planning any layoffs … at least for the rest of this year.