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Which Employees Are Most at Risk for Layoffs?

Unemployment numbers have been rising throughout the year, with the economy losing more than 600,000 jobs so far. If a company is facing financial trouble that mandates cutting overhead costs, we're all left wondering, will it be my head or hers? Maintaining a live document with your job history is a good idea no matter the state of the economy, but now more than ever before in your professional lives it may pay off to be prepared. There are certain factors that play into an employer's decision to hand a pink slip to one employee over another — find out what they are when you


CNN Money asked several recruiting experts for insight about the factors that contribute to deciding which employees are the first to be laid off. Here are some of their remarks:

  • Job performance: Last hired, first fired, is an old way of thinking. Management focuses on keeping their best talent — those who are productive and consistently produce quality work. Instead of resting on tenure, every employee's goal should be to make themselves as valuable as possible to her employer.
  • Salary: Higher paid employees are more at risk and will have to work hard to prove they are worth the money.
  • Business need: When money is tight, companies may cut entire departments if they are not cost effective and aren't essential to business operations.

Are you worried about losing your job?


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm not worried about my job at all. I work in the healthcare industry and people are always going to get sick. Plus, there's no chance of my job getting outsourced to a foreign country. I'm also not too worried about my husband's job because he is very flexible and could move to another department if need be. The only difference we're probably going to notice is that he'll have to travel more and I'll probably be working more overtime when flu season hits.
Kelly-O Kelly-O 8 years
I worked as a temp at a company that manages construction for a financial institution. I was the most recently hired, so when it came time to cut, I was the first to go. I've always worked in overhead departments, and as administrative support it's become a not-uncommon thing for us to go first. It's one of the contributing factors to my wanting to finish my bachelor's and get another career path.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
They are cutting hours at my job. It is kinda scary because I work in hospitality, and not many people are traveling anymore. Luckily we are still getting the business customers coming, but I have notice we don't have many leisure travelers anymore. I don't think any one will be laid off though. I'm also worried about my boyfriends job, which is in retail sales. Luckily he still does pretty well with his numbers, but it's still scary to think about him losing his job because of the economy.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
there are times that i do worry about losing my job especially when i've been hearing the chatter about layoffs but i think that i'm pretty secure right now. i think that with the amount and quality of work that i do, it's more likely that the person below me would go rather than me. it's not like i make enough or that much more than her to make a real difference, so right now i'm confident. i do thin that it makes a lot of sense to always be on your toes about things though. you never know what could happen and it's smart to be prepared with a resume just in case.
jadefly jadefly 8 years
I'm totally worried about losing my job. I'm one of the last two hired, plus my position is the lowest on the ladder at my NON-PROFIT, some of the funding for which has just faced a state budget cut. On top of which, I'm unhappy when they don't reimburse me for mileage or "fix" my timesheet so that I get paid for less time than I worked.
sundrops sundrops 8 years
I'm worried about my husband losing his job or getting a major pay cut! I already lost a part-time gig I did because the economy is so slow. I'm slowly losing my other part-time gig because the people that I nanny for are on shaky ground at their job.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
not anymore, as I'm the only support person in our office so they kind of can't let me go or they would be screwed. My boss is very old school and not even close to being tech savvy. what's funny is he has used that as an excuse many times on asking me to do projects. :D
lizs lizs 8 years
Nope! I'm relatively new here, but I feel secure enough. If I were going to go right now, it would be because my entire department was cut.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I'm worried about my current job, but fortunately I just got a job offer yesterday. I know that puts me in the first hired, first fired category, but it's a firm that does well when the economy is down.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
Yes, I am probably going to lose my job in the next 30-60 days. I am trying to get out now. The good thing is I have been networking like crazy and I think I will have something in the next couple of weeks. Even when the market is great I keep my resume updated you never know what is going to happen!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
nope. :)
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
No, my job is pretty secure actually since the work that my boss does is in demand. It's a comforting position to be in.
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