It’s been three years since the arrival of COVID-19 triggered historic job losses, and the looming stress of potential layoffs has once again lodged itself in the minds of American workers.
Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to compare preliminary December layoff levels and rates across all 50 states and Washington D.C. States are ranked primarily by their layoff rates, then by the total number of layoffs.
Data released by the agency for January shows a slight uptick in layoffs, but the bureau’s data for December is the most recent available that allows an analysis of the layoff rate by state. The bureau calculates layoff rates by taking the number of layoffs and discharges through the end of the month, and dividing that by the total number of people who worked during that month.
If you’re worried the next pay day could come with a surprise message telling you to check your inbox for a termination notice, you aren’t alone.
In December, 1 in 3 Americans surveyed by LinkedIn said they worried about the potential of layoffs at their place of business. Workers responded with varying anxiety levels, however, depending on their sector. Those holding jobs in product management, quality assurance, marketing, finance, and IT expressed the most anxiety.
That’s despite an annual average layoff rate of just 1% of workers nationwide for 2022. Large shares of the roughly 1.5 million workers laid off in 2022 made headlines, with layoffs at massive tech firms like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft dominating corporate media and cable news shows. That publicity can have the effect of warping reality for consumers.
Still, layoff activity hit those fields reporting high anxiety about losing their jobs particularly hard in recent months. In January, the professional and business services sector experienced the most significant uptick in layoffs. The industry includes IT jobs, accountants, financial advisers, and lawyers.
Stacker’s analysis found that layoff activity has varied from state to state much as it has varied across industries. Layoff rates as a ratio of the workforce were above the national average in 23 states.
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