Christmas layoffs feel horrible, but I want to identify a few reasons why things will not be as bad as you might think.
So you know, I help unemployed workers all day and night. As a result, I believe the first step is trying to acquire or defend a claim for unemployment benefits.
On the other hand, I want to share a few positive reasons why the absolute best time to get laid off is during the holiday season.
Christmas Layoffs: Best Time Reason #1
Being laid off is a stronger position than being compelled to quit or being told you are fired for a made-up reason.
Of course, your employer would never make anything up, right? For those who do not fall into this category, employers attaching “employment misconduct” to a discharge feels much worse.
If you are required to defend or respond to an allegation of employee misconduct, redefine your story as a layoff. Being discharged for reasons other than employment misconduct favors workers trying to acquire unemployment.
If this doesn’t convince you that the best layoff is a Christmas Layoff, then consider my second reason.
Christmas Layoffs: Best Time Reason #2
Being laid off during the Christmas season is the best time to get laid off because the probability of finding part-time work while you look for full-time work is much higher.
Over the last few years, the summer months generally see a higher unemployment rate than our winter months. My source of truth stems from the seasonally adjusted unemployment statistics published by MN DEED.
If this doesn’t convince you that the best layoff is a Christmas Layoff, then consider my third reason.
Christmas Layoffs: Best Time Reason #3
Being laid off during the Christmas season is the best time to get laid off because you will not be competing with summer months layoffs (which are generally more abundant).
Look, you are going to find another job. It feels icky, but not impossible. You might not find your ideal job, but looking for an ideal job is much easier while you were employed (even at a job you are mentally telling yourself isn’t a good fit or temporary at best).
Laid-off workers in Minnesota can collect unemployment benefits for 26 straight weeks. Because laid-off workers are required to wait one week before collecting, this puts most people in the month of June before benefits will end. If my intuition is right, you are going to find a job long before June. For those that disagree, I encourage more positive thoughts.
If this doesn’t convince you that the best layoff to experience are Christmas Layoffs, then consider my fourth reason.
Christmas Layoffs: Best Time Reason #4
Being laid off during the Christmas holidays is the best time to get laid off because most businesses and companies start over with their budget on January 1.
This means you are less likely to experience a “we are maxed out” budget excuse. For businesses who ramp up in the spring or summer, you are ahead of the curve for them too.
Christmas Layoffs: Best Time Reason #5
Collecting unemployment in January is better than collecting unemployment in October or November. When an applicant in Minnesota fills out their application for benefits, they will be asked whether they want taxes taken from their benefit.
Without giving tax advice, some people certainly take the strategy of deferring the tax attached to their unemployment benefit based on the theory that they have time to catch up.
On the other hand, I have seen Clients take it upon themselves to set aside the taxes on their own behalf. Generally, folks put this money in a special savings account “just in case” things get really bad.
Christmas Layoffs: Best Time Reason #6
Although my sixth reason isn’t sensitive to the holiday season, I think it is important to acknowledge. Minnesota pays the second most in unemployment benefits.
If you are curious, Massachusetts pays the most ($742 per week). Florida pays the least (over the span of 26 weeks).
Final Christmas Layoff Thoughts
If you knew me personally, then you would know that I believe Christmas Miracles work in mysterious ways. Whether your miracle comes this week or in four months, please have faith. Please, remind yourself that you are one phone call and one job offer away from making things turn around.
I wish you and your family the very best during the holiday season.