2019 CareerArc Layoff Anxiety Study, conducted by The Harris Poll

Why do nearly half of American employees experience layoff anxiety—despite record low unemployment rates? CareerArc partnered with The Harris Poll on a national survey to learn more about layoff anxiety in the workplace today: what is causing it, who is experiencing it, and how prepared American workers are for a potential layoff.

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Key statistics 

  • 40% of Americans have been laid off or terminated from a job at least once

  • 48% of employed Americans suffer from layoff anxiety

  • 47% of employed Americans say they are unprepared for the possibility of being laid off

What fuels layoff anxiety?

Around one-third of those who suffer from layoff anxiety say fear of a pending recession (34%), rumors around the office (32%), and a recent round of layoffs at the workplace (30%) fuel their layoff anxiety.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of those who experienced a layoff/termination/joblessness during the Great Recession say they suffer from layoff anxiety, particularly due to fear of a pending recession (36%).

About the study

The 2019 CareerArc Layoff Anxiety Study was conducted online from June 25-27, 2019, by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerArc. We surveyed 2,204 U.S. adults, of whom 1,061 were employed, on their thoughts and emotions about their employment status—and found that people are still strongly affected by their experiences during The Great Recession and are fearful of a pending recession.

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