Survey Results: How Has Our Readership Been Affected by Recent Layoffs?

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

Survey Results: How Has Our Readership Been Affected by Recent Layoffs?

With the unemployment rate continuing to rise dramatically in recent months (now up to double digits in some states) Salary.com asked its users how they have been affected by the recent changes in the job market.

We had over 4,000 respondents of which a larger than expected number answered they had been laid off in the last 6 months. Read on to see some of the trends.

The national unemployment rate for January was 8.1% This means that nationwide 8.1% of employable individuals have reported that they are out of work by filing for unemployment.

Interestingly a whopping 45.3% of Salary.com newsletter readers who took this survey said they had been laid off in the last six months, and 7.2% said they have been unemployed for more than 6 months. This is considerably higher than the official national average and you should keep in mind when viewing the rest of the survey that these results only apply to our readership and may or may not be an indication of the national situation.

Regional Variation

Salary.com newsletter readers who reported layoffs were high for all regions across the board.

  1. South 48.65%
  2. West 48.63%
  3. Midwest 42.87%
  4. East 40.85%
  5. Mid Atlantic 38.83%

To view official unemployment rates by state compared to their highest and lowest rates click here.

10 Job Categories with Highest Layoff Percentage

Housing related industries like Banking, Construction & Installation and Architecture had a high percentage of layoffs. Entertainment related industries were also heavily hit including Hotel, Gaming, Leisure & Travel, Sports & Recreation and Restaurant & Food services.

10 Job Categories with Lowest Layoff Percentages

Healthcare was particularly safe with Practitioners, Nurses and Technicians Landing in the bottom 10, but the safest jobs seem to be the ones most likely paid for by state and local government including the Military, education and Government positions.

Is age an issue?

The lower age brackets surveyed seemed to have a significantly smaller portion of people laid off. The lower rates in the under 30 bracket are consistent with reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Layoffs by Income Level

Cutting costs is the major reason why companies conduct layoffs. This may mean cutting a few highly paid executives or a whole factory, product line or division, displacing thousands of employees. Our readership seemed to indicate a relatively consistent percentage across all income levels.

Households Affected

55.5% of households surveyed had at least one person laid off in the last 6 months. 47.1% had only one person in the home laid off, but a significant amount 8.4% had more than one person laid off in the last 6 months.

Impact on Everyone

91% of the people we surveyed know someone personally who has been laid off in the last 6 months. Only 9% of those surveyed did not know anyone who had been affected by a layoff. These numbers indicate that almost everyone has been affected either indirectly or directly by the current downturn in the job market.

Employee Confidence

Of the currently employed people surveyed, there was a slightly optimistic viewpoint about the future of the job market. Of those who responded slightly over half (54%) feel confident in their current positions and that they do not need to fear a layoff in the next 6 months. On the flip side only slightly less than half (46%) feel comfortable that they will not be laid off. There is still a fair amount of uncertainty about the perceptions of the future of the job market.

Thank you for your Participation

We would like to thank everyone who participated in this survey for their time.

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