In the News

Employees remain positive but layoff talk is on the rise

I’m sure I don’t need tell you that the economy is performing REALLY badly these days.  U.S. jobless rates are at a 14-year high and consumer confidence numbers are at an all time low.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 37.2% year to date, and personally I can’t bring myself to look at my 401(k) statement.  All of this economic turmoil prompted us to analyze company reviews & ratings on Glassdoor to find out what effect the economy was having on how employees review and rate their companies.

Company reviews remain balanced
Since our launch, employees have shared a pretty balanced view of their employers.  On average, 42.4% of reviews are positive, 32.2% are negative, and 25.2% are neutral.  When we compare our positive review percentage to the Consumer Confidence Index, we see that majority of reviews have remained positive and constructive, even in October, when the Consumer Confidence Index plummeted to an all time low of 38 (1980=100).  Frankly, that surprised us.  We hypothesized that when the economy slowed, employer ratings on would fall, but they haven’t.  That’s the good news.

Layoff talk is on the rise
Now, the bad news. We searched company reviews on for various forms of the word “layoff” and found that the percentage of reviews that mention “layoff” has increased sharply, particularly with employees at AOL/Time Warner, Sprint Nextel and Alcatel-Lucent. In fact, the percentage of reviews mentioning layoff has grown six out of the last eight months, and has increased 64.2% from a low of 2.8% in April to a high of 4.6% in November.

Rank Company % of reviews that mention “Layoff”
1 AOL/Time Warner 34.70%
2 Sprint Nextel 24.00%
3 Alcatel-Lucent 23.90%
4 Avaya 23.50%
5 Nortel Networks 22.20%
6 Ford Motor 20.00%
7 Sun Microsystems 18.90%
8 Washington Mutual 15.60%
9 Pfizer 14.50%
10 Hewlett-Packard 14.30%

So overall, our analysis has revealed that as the economy worsens, a majority of employees have remained positive about their employers but are expressing more and more concern about losing their jobs. So if you are looking to move around in your career or start your career, keep a close eye on what the Glassdoor community is telling you. We will keep watching these trends and keep you posted on any developments.