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More Americans express concerns about getting laid off from their job

742,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits last week the first increase in 5 weeks
Posted at 9:31 AM, Jul 28, 2022

The number of "weekly jobless claims" dropped slightly last week, according to data released today.

But the overall numbers have been trending up since March. It's a sign that more people are getting laid off.

More people are also worried about it now. A new survey from Robert Half finds that 29% of workers are concerned about being laid off if economic conditions get worse, up from 8% just two months ago.

“We are seeing considerable layoffs in the high tech sector,” said Desmond Lachman, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute. “Places, you know, Facebook, Google, all of those companies. And particularly the companies that started in Silicon Valley, the ones that are more at the frontier, it's these startups. They're all laying off in a big way.”

Workers have had historic levels of job security over the last few months, with about two open jobs for every person looking for work.

But experts say the favorable market is unlikely to last. On Thursday, federal figures showed the US economy shrinking 0.9% in the second quarter of 2022.

“As the economy cools, as firms then don't have the demand to meet, what they do is they cut back production,” Lachman said. “Once they cut back production, they find they don't need the same workforce that they had before.”

Experts say there are a few industries that are safe even in tough economic times. Those are health care, government, I.T. and education.

The most vulnerable industries include retail, tourism and entertainment.