Time to Prepare for Layoffs?

Although the recent shakedown in the high tech economy has not caused a significant percentage of the industry to receive pink slips, a new report shows fear of layoffs is on the rise.

While 73 percent of working adults feel secure in their current jobs, according to the latest Xylo Report: Job Security Within the U.S. Workforce, more than half of the respondents (58 percent) are taking precautions to prepare for the possibility of layoffs in the midst of concerns that a recession may hit the U.S. economy in 2001.

The report showed nearly three-fourths of employees surveyed feel that their job is secure in light of talk about an economic slowdown and company layoffs, with 56 percent saying they feel very secure.

Despite this optimistic figure, actions may speak louder than words.

According to the survey, 58 percent of respondents are taking precautions for the possibility of layoffs.

Improving personal finances topped the list, with 26 percent indicating that they are saving money. Fifteen percent are taking steps to improve their position in the job market by interviewing for other positions, going back to school for a degree, increasing skills through job training courses, working harder to increase job security, updating their resume, and looking at want ads.

Eight percent are altering their finances by cutting personal expenses, investing money, paying off debts or taking a second job.

While some may view this as a sign of fear, others feel that employees are merely making smart preparations for a worst-case scenario.

“The February Xylo Report runs counter to many of the recent media stories we’ve seen about workers’ fears of an impending recession and massive layoffs,” said Xylo President and CEO Norman Behar. “By and large, American workers feel secure in their current positions, but are wary that changes in their workplace could have significant repercussions.”

The Xylo Report is a national survey on work/life issues conducted monthly by Wirthlin Worldwide for Xylo, Inc. Xylo, a Bellevue-based provider of Web-based work/life solutions.

The company commissioned Wirthlin Worldwide, a leading opinion research firm, to survey 1,006 U.S. adults during the period of February 2 – 5, 2001. Sixty-five percent of the 1,006 respondents qualified for this survey by being employed, and the survey reported a +/- 3.9 percent margin of error.

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