Avoid a Layoff: 25 Best Employers for Job Security

a man who's just experienced a lay off

A man leaves his office | Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Want to really scare an American worker? Wave a pink slip in their face. The possibility of becoming unemployed is one of people’s biggest financial fears, according to a recent survey by Chapman University.

Given that the mass layoffs of the 2008 recession are still fresh in many worker’s minds, and with big employers like GM, Boeing, Macy’s, Walmart, and Caterpillar cutting jobs, it’s no wonder that some people are worried about their livelihood. But they might be losing sleep over something that likely won’t happen. While no jobs are 100% secure, your chances of getting laid off are currently lower than at any point in modern history, according to Marketwatch. With many companies struggling to find talented workers, most are unwilling to lay off those that they already have.

Still, broad economic trends mean nothing when you’re on the receiving end of a layoff notice. Choosing the right employer can minimize the chances that you’ll lose your job unexpectedly. For those looking for a lasting career with one organization, job search website Indeed ranked employers based on job security.

The big takeaway from Indeed’s list? If you want a job for life, work for the government. Of the top 25 employers, more than half were federal, state, or local government agencies. The top six places to find a secure job were all branches of the U.S. military. Several big retail chains also scored high on job security.

These are the 25 best employers in the U.S. for job security, according the ratings and reviews posted to Indeed.com.

25. Acclivity Healthcare

Nurse helping elderly patient

Health care professional helping a patient | iStock.com

Acclivity Healthcare is a healthcare recruiting and staffing company. It specializes in placing people in all types of health care jobs, including nurses, medical assistants, front office staff, and billing experts.

24. Primerica

career fair

Resumes sit in a basket at the Primerica booth during a job fair | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Primerica is an insurance and financial services company. The company’s representative make money by selling insurance and other products to clients, but also by recruiting other reps to work under them, similar to other multi-level marketing businesses like Mary Kay.

23. Texas Department of Criminal Justice

texas prison

A Texas prison | Chantal Valery/AFP/Getty Images

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice oversees the state’s prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities. “Job security cannot be beat,” said one reviewer on Indeed, though “the environment is difficult for some people to handle.”

22. Federal Bureau of Prisons

United States Federal Penitentiary Terre Haute

Federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana | Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

The Federal Bureau of Prisons, a subdivision of the Department of Justice, is responsible for nearly 190,000 federal inmates. The majority of the Bureau’s employees work at one of 122 federal prison facilities.

21. The Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Ritz-Carlton Hotel | Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Ritz-Carlton operates 91 luxury hotels and resorts around the world. “Most [employees] in housekeeping, stewarding, residences, and in-room dining stay for 10 + years,” said one reviewer on Indeed. In addition to job security, employees mentioned the opportunity to travel and hotel discounts as some of the advantages of working for the company.

20. HEB

HEB store

Interior of HEB store | HEB via Facebook

Texas grocery store chain HEB regularly shows up on lists of the best places to work. The company has more than 76,000 employees, and those reviewing it on Indeed praised the opportunities for advancement, which can set up workers for a long career with the retailer. “It is a great first job and lifetime job,” said one.

19. Royal Caribbean Cruises

Harmony of the Seas cruise ship

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas cruise ship | Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Working on a cruise ship isn’t for everyone, but for those who want the opportunity to travel for a career, it might be the perfect fit. As the world’s largest cruise line and with nearly two-dozen ships sailing around the world, Royal Caribbean offers numerous opportunities for both land- and sea-based work.

18. Princess Cruises

Crown Princess cruise liner

The Crown Princess cruise liner in Venice | Andrea Pattaro/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival, serves more than 300 worldwide destinations. Currently, the company is hiring for both shipboard and land-based positions, with opportunities for everyone from accountants to waitstaff.

17. FBI

Federal Bureau of Investigation crest

FBI crest | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Roughly 35,000 agents, analysts, and other professionals work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Many reviewers described their career with the FBI as exciting and rewarding. “[W]orking for the government offers job security not often found in the private sector,” noted one reviewer.

16. Costco Wholesale


Costco | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Employees are treated well at Costco, the second-largest retailer in the U.S. People who work for the warehouse store chain make a minimum of $13 an hour, and both full- and part-time workers are eligible for health insurance and other benefits. Even better, layoffs are rare to nonexistent – the company doesn’t think giving experienced worker the boot when times are tough is worth it in the long run.

15. Publix


Publix | Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

For nearly 20 years running, Fortune has named supermarket chain Publix one of the best companies to work for. In the employee-owned company’s half-century history, it’s never laid off an employee. The typical store manager has worked for Publix for just over 25 years.

14. Air National Guard

Air National Guard

Planes from the 199th Fighter Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard and the 19th Fighter Squadron, U.S. Air Force | Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

The Air National Guard is a military reserve force. Part-time reservists are able to serve their country while maintaining a civilian life and getting access to benefits such as a retirement plan, health insurance, and tuition assistance. The initial commitment is for six years.

13. Department of Defense

Department of Defense logo

Department of Defense logo | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Department of Defense is the nation’s oldest government agency and largest employer, encompassing several other entities on this list, including branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, National Guard, and Reserves. While not immune to cutbacks, a job with the military offers job security and benefits that are hard to find in the private sector.

12. United States Air Force Reserve Command

U.S. Air Force Reserve Command

U.S. Air Force Reserve Command | Air Force Reserve via Facebok

As with other reserve branches of the military, Air Force reservists generally serve part-time and hold civilian jobs, though deployment is a possibility. The initial service commitment is for six years.

11. NYPD

nypd officer

An NYPD officer | Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

The NYPD is the largest municipal police department in the U.S., with 34,500 officers. Many officers have long careers with the department. “I spent close to twenty six years with the NYPD and for the most part it was a rewarding job that offered good pay; opportunities for advancement, varied work assignments, and ample overtime opportunity and plenty of time off,” said one reviewer.

10. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

marine corps reserve

Michelle Obama poses for photographs with members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve after sorting toys for the Toys For Tots program | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As with other reserve branches of the military, Marine Corps reservists earn part-time pay and other benefits in exchange for a six-year commitment to serve.

9. U.S. Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle

A member of the U.S. Coast Guard walks past the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for maritime safety and law enforcement. “The job security is incredible, if that’s what you’re looking for, but the down shot of that is that you can’t quit,” one reviewer noted.

8. Southwest Airlines

southwest airplane

Southwest airlines planes on the tarmac at Chicago’s Midway Airport | Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Southwest Airlines is a rare breed among companies – it’s never laid off a single worker over the 45 years of its existence. “Our people are fantastic, it really is what sets us apart competitively in the industry and they are the ones that have made Southwest so successful,” CEO Gary Kelly said in an interview with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer.

7. QuikTrip


QuikTrip | QuikTrip via Facebook

Like several other employers on this list, Oklahoma-based QuikTrip has never laid off an employee. That distinction, along with entry-level salaries of as much as $40,000 a year for cashiers and opportunities for advancement, makes the convenience store and gas station chain one of the best places to work in the U.S., according to both Glassdoor and Fortune.

6. National Guard

national guard

National Guard troops watch as commuters arrive to Grand Central Station on November 7, 2016 | John Moore/Getty Images

Job security, good pay for part-time work, great benefits, and the opportunity to serve your country earned the National Guard 4½ out of 5 stars on Indeed’s overall employer ranking.

5. U.S. Army Reserve

u.s. army reservists

US Army reservists being sworn-in | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Like other reserve branches of the military, enlisting with the Army Reserve lets you marry military service with civilian life. You get a paycheck, job training, and military benefits in exchange for serving one weekend per month and two weeks per year for three to six years.

4. U.S. Navy

us navy

A U.S. Navy captain | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

“Job security is the best you can get,” said one reviewer of the U.S. Navy, which has more than 340,000 active duty personnel and 274 deployable battle force ships.

3. U.S. Air Force

F-16 fighter jet

A United States Air Force F-16 fighter jet | Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Along with the opportunity to travel, serve your country, and develop career skills, the excellent job security was one of the biggest benefits of joining the Air Force, according to reviewers on Indeed.

2. U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Marines

U.S. Marines | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The Marine Corps may be one of the smaller military branches in terms of numbers, but it’s one of the biggest in terms of reputation. For the right person, a career with the Marines means excellent training and leadership opportunities, along with great job security. “If you dedicate yourself to this organization, you will succeed and advance within the ranks,” one reviewer wrote.

1. U.S. Army

Major General Timothy McGuire

Major General Timothy McGuire, Deputy Commander of U.S. military in Europe, on January 6, 2017 | Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

The largest branch of the U.S. military is also the best for job security, according to Indeed. “Even in an uncertain environment the military provides security for families by providing a steady and predictable paycheck, top notch healthcare and education opportunities for both the service member and their family,” said one reviewer.

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