To hold down a job these days, a worker seemingly needs one essential trait: a pulse.
Some jobs have always required little more than the ability to stay awake. In the tightest labor market in a half-century, people in higher functions may get by just going through the motions, too.
“You’d have to be incredibly lousy” to get fired as a software engineer at the moment, says David Cancel, who employs roughly 700 people as chief executive of Drift, a Boston-based marketing firm that uses artificial intelligence. “Most companies—and us, in some cases—are keeping people who wouldn’t be on the team in a looser market. The standards would be higher.”
Though some economists warn of a coming downturn, layoffs and discharges in recent months have registered at or near all-time lows, according to the Labor Department. Less than 1% of workers are getting pink slips, roughly half the norm, with job security especially sweet in finance, education, healthcare and the public sector.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered access)