Unemployment and Anxiety Rising
The U.S. Department of Labor announced this morning that for the week ending June 20, 2009, the advance figures for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims increased to 627,000. While layoffs slowed in May, the unemployment rate has continued to increase, hitting 9.4 percent.
Using the new instant poll feature on the home page of phwa.org, we asked our visitors the following question:
Is your organization laying people off in response to the current economic crisis?
Here are the results...
While this wasn't a scientific poll, 43 percent reporting that they're seeing layoffs at work is pretty striking.
In a larger survey the American Psychological Association conducted in April as part of its public education campaign, a smaller percentage of respondents (just over 30 percent) said their employers were laying people off, but 68 percent of employed Americans reported that their employers had taken steps such as putting a freeze on hiring or wages, laying off staff, reducing work hours, benefits or pay, requiring unpaid days off or increasing work hours in the past year as a result of the weak economy.
In response, employees across the country are hunkering down, sucking it up and doing whatever it takes to keep their jobs. Many are also spending work time surfing job boards and huddling behind closed doors to share the latest office rumors. It's no wonder employees are expecting the worst -- most of them are actually seeing it happen and are worried about what's coming next.
These difficult economic times have produced a lot of uncertainty for employers and employees, alike. What are you doing to promote openness and effective two-way communication in your workplace? If you can't answer that question, you most likely have trouble brewing and when it surfaces, you won't be able to blame that on the economy.
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