78% of Americans fear losing their job ahead of recession

Read more: How HR leaders should handle layoffs before the recession

Meanwhile, 56% of working Americans say they don’t feel financially prepared for a recession or don’t know how they would prepare for a recession. More than half (54%) would be willing to take a pay cut, even with inflation at its highest level in 40 years, to avoid being laid off in the event of a recession.

Over the past month, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest bank in the United States, and Coinbase, the nation’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, have both laid off hundreds of employees. Streaming giant Netflix followed suit, announcing its second round of cuts in two months. Two weeks ago, Tesla went even further by closing its San Mateo, Calif.-based factory, laying off hundreds of people in the process. As the housing, crypto and tech markets all face upheaval, more companies are expected to make drastic cuts in the coming months.

“It is unfortunate that we are already seeing some companies turning to mass layoffs because I believe layoffs should be the absolute last resort,” said Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global. “Instead, I encourage leaders to consider other solutions, such as developing a plan that avoids layoffs and helps you grow during a recession. Make your employee base perform this, because when you rebound from a recession, you will need your employees more than ever.

Of course, HR managers who weathered the global recession of 2008-2009 are in a better position to weather this potential storm. They’ve learned what works, and business leaders will look to them to take the helm. As for HR professionals who are about to enter uncharted territory, it will be a test of fire.

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