27% of Americans Worry About Job Security. Here's How to Ease That Concern

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Worried about losing your job? Here's your game plan.

Key points

  • The U.S. unemployment rate has reached its lowest level since the start of the pandemic.
  • In spite of that, more than one-quarter of Americans say they're worried about job loss in a recent survey.

Earlier in the pandemic, unemployment was rampant. The situation got so bad that lawmakers made the decision to not only boost unemployment, but send several rounds of direct stimulus checks into Americans' bank accounts.

Thankfully, the situation has improved tremendously in recent months. In November, the national unemployment rate reached its lowest level since the start of the pandemic. And right now, there are millions of available jobs just waiting to be scooped up.

In fact, employers are actually desperate to hire. Many are offering higher wages, sign-on bonuses, and other perks in an effort to attract workers.

In spite of this, a good 27% of Americans still worry about job security, according to a new survey by Lincoln Financial Group. If you're part of that statistic, here are a few moves you can make that might help ease your fears.

1. Build a solid emergency fund

If you're laid off at work through no fault of your own, you're generally entitled to unemployment benefits. But right now, benefits aren't getting a boost like they were earlier in the pandemic, and so they may not do a good job of helping you cover your bills. That's why it's important to build yourself an emergency fund.

If you sock away enough money in your savings account to cover three to six months of essential bills, you may have an easier time sleeping at night when job loss fears prey on your mind. If you are let go, you'll have a way to pay your bills while you look for work elsewhere.

2. Get a side hustle

Getting a side hustle could not only help you boost your income and make it easier to build an emergency fund, but it can also serve as a backup income source for you. That might help ease your job loss fears.

If you have money coming in from a steady gig, whether it's tutoring, driving for a ride-hailing company, or walking dogs, you won't lose your entire income if you're let go from your main job. If layoffs ensue at your company, you may be able to ramp up at your side hustle until you're able to find full-time employment again.

3. Learn new skills that make you a more valuable asset to your team

Sometimes, people get laid off due to no fault of their own, even if they have a solid track record at work and are strong performers. But if you boost your job skills, your company may have an even more difficult time letting you go if the need for downsizing arises.

Think about the skills that might make you a more valuable member of your team and work on improving them. You might also aim to develop a skill that no one else on your team has. As an example, if you're in the accounting department and learn to use a new software your company would like to upgrade to, becoming the expert on that program could be your ticket to a more secure job if layoffs ensue.

Losing a job can be a scary prospect. The good news is that right now, jobs are plentiful, so even if that were to happen, there's a strong chance you'd manage to land on your feet and find another opportunity. But still, it's natural to be concerned about job security, so it pays to build yourself a safety net, secure a backup income stream, and take steps to become the most valuable employee you can be.

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