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Layoff Anxiety Has Some Workers Ready to Do More For Less, Survey Finds

With news of layoffs proliferating, a new survey finds that one in five workers would take a pay cut to keep their job.

By Michael Grothaus, Fast Company (TNS)

The past 18 months have been rough for American workers. Since late 2022, mass layoffs have hit several industries, most notably media and tech, as companies large and small seek ways to reduce costs in order to buoy profits.

Now a new report out from small business lending firm Clarify Capital reveals just how anxious Americans are about layoffs—and the sacrifices they would be willing to make to avoid them.

In a survey of 1,003 Americans, nearly one-third of respondents admitted that they’ve had layoff anxiety this year. Clarify defines layoff anxiety as “the fear of losing your job or the worry of never finding another.”

Part of that anxiety stems from American workers believing that their employer lacks transparency about operational or financial challenges. This perceived lack of transparency makes it hard for an employee to feel like they really know how the business is performing.

Compounding the fear of being laid off is the fact that over half of respondents said they have only three months or less of emergency savings to get them through a period where they’re out of a job. Eighteen percent said they have no emergency savings.

Respondents also revealed what measures they would be willing to take in order to not be laid off from their company.

  • 39% said they would be willing to switch roles to keep their jobs.
  • 39% also said they would be willing to switch teams.
  • 24% said they would be willing to return to the office and thus give up working from home.
  • 19% said they would be willing to take a pay cut.
  • 14% said they would be willing to relocate to another office.
  • 12% said they would be willing to give up paid time off.

Of those willing to take a pay cut, the average amount those polled would be willing to give up is 5% of their salary. However, one in 10 respondents said they would be willing to forgo 15% of their salary to keep their job.

Clarify Capital’s full report can be found here.


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