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- Workers aren’t as concerned about layoffs as they were pre-pandemic, according to a NY Fed survey.
- Still, workers are more worried about losing their jobs than they were earlier in the year.
- Even so, workers more likely to be in labor-strapped fields weren’t as worried about layoffs.
Even with an uncertain economy, people still aren’t as worried about losing their jobs as they were pre-pandemic.
Economic research director at job site Indeed Nick Bunker highlighted in a tweet results from the New York Fed Survey of Consumer Expectations, showing that respondents in November said on average they thought there was an 11.7% chance they’d lose their job over the next year. That’s higher than job-loss expectations in early 2022 — showing some fears over the cooling of the red-hot labor market — but still much lower than pre-pandemic expectations over layoffs.
Of course, some are more worried than others about losing their jobs.
When broken down by age, workers over 59 years old were the most worried about losing their jobs, while fears among those 40 to 59 went down a bit in November. Those under 40 also got a bit more worried about losing their jobs, although all age groups were less worried than they were in November 2021. Ageism has been one factor holding back older workers from cashing in on the hot economy.
However, workers with a high school education or less are less concerned about losing their jobs than workers with some college education or a BA and higher.
That might be due to the fact that the industries still hungry for labor — and dealing with an elevated number of workers quitting — are those that traditionally do not require a college degree, like leisure and hospitality. That sector, which includes the hotel and restaurant industries, has raised wages at a breakneck speed over the last year and a half to try and lure in new workers and retain their current ones.
While traditionally blue-collar sectors like leisure and hospitality are still seeing a hiring boom, other industries like tech and media are running into headwinds. William Lee, chief economist at the Milken Institute, previously told Insider that the US economy has the “trappings of a white-collar recession in the works right now” as these kinds of companies face layoffs. Tech companies are cutting thousands, and media brands like CNN are making their own big trims.
With a potential recession looming next year, fears over layoffs make sense. Many economists and experts believe that the US will enter a recession some time in 2023, with some believing it will be mild or shallow. White-collar and blue-collar workers may not be hit with layoffs at the same rate, although the lowest earning workers are still the most worried about layoffs, according to the NY Fed survey.
It shows yet again the strange state of the US labor market: Wages are rising, people are not as worried about layoffs as they were pre-pandemic, job growth is booming, and yet, a recession is still hanging over the heads of workers. All of the good news for workers means a recession could be even more brutal: If the Federal Reserve continues hiking interest rates at a fast pace in an effort to bring down prices, more Americans will have to be concerned about layoffs as the economy quickly cools.