Job Search? These 5 Companies Have Policies That Prevent Layoffs

 Swissport employee Omar Stewart (L) monitors a line as he fuels a Southwest Airlines plane at the Oakland International Airport October 16, 2008 in Oakland, California. Southwest Airlines reported a loss today, the first time in 17 years

Southwest Airlines employees aren’t too worried about losing their jobs | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you’re embattled in a job search, you’re probably not just looking for any gig. You want a job that has some sort of security. You’re going to want to work for a respected company that values and takes care of its employees. Those companies are few and far between, though working for most employers will have its advantages. But when it comes to things like layoffs? Nobody wants to be caught off guard, or have their livelihood depend on the ups and downs of the global economy.

Employers will always have to hire and fire employees, though. It’s a feature of business. And just because you work for a company that tries to avoid layoffs doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t be fired for doing terribly at your job or for being a jerk.

If you’ve been laid off before, you probably don’t want to go through it again. And for that reason, your job search should include companies that have no-layoff policies, or have a history of avoiding layoffs. These companies are out there, but again, they’re relatively rare. That means positions can be competitive, and it might be difficult to get your foot in the door.

That shouldn’t dissuade you, job seeker, from trying. Here are five companies that either have active no-layoff policies or have managed to avoid layoffs up until now. This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other companies out there with similar policies. But if you want a place to start, these companies will do.

1. Southwest Airlines

Southwest airlines planes on the tarmac at Chicago's Midway Airport

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

Southwest has never laid off an employee, according to its CEO. In an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money, Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said, “There is a lot to a culture, and it’s easier to have a strong culture if you feel like you’re a champion.” He added that’s how his employees feel.

If you ever wanted to work in the travel or airline industry, and not worry about job security? This looks like the company to work for.

2. NuStar Energy

A pipeline worker inspects piping

A pipeline worker inspects piping | NuStar Energy via Facebook

The energy industry is incredibly volatile. In the past several years we’ve seen a domestic energy boom, resulting in millions of good, well-paying jobs created. Then, of course, things kind of crashed as prices dropped. That led to a lot of layoffs. If you’re an engineer or work in the energy sector, finding a company that won’t drop you like a hot potato when things turn can be difficult.

But NuStar Energy fits the bill. The company, which operates terminals and pipelines, has a no-layoff policy and many other employee perks.

3. The Container Store

organized closet thanks to the container store

A closet organized using containers | The Container Store via Facebook

Running a business that only sells containers sounds challenging. But The Container Store pulls it off, and it does so while being extremely generous to its workforce. The Container Store is consistently included on lists of “the best companies to work for,” and that’s because it famously pays relatively high wages (especially for retail) and offers benefits packages. Not only that, but the company has a policy that prevents layoffs.

“We’ve never laid off an employee,” CEO Kip Tindell told The Washington Post in a 2014 interview. “We do get rid of people all the time because they’re dishonest or they’re not productive. We’re a meritocracy, and we believe in excellence. But we’ve never laid anybody off. You can’t go around calling yourself an employee-first company and then lay people off.”

4. Nucor

Worker near steel beams in shipping yard

Worker near steel beams in a shipping yard | Roger Ball/Worldsteel via Getty Images

Nucor may not be a household name, but it is one of the country’s largest steel companies. Obviously, domestic steel has had a rough go over the past several years. Globalization has led to many of the industry’s jobs being relocated overseas. Steelworkers have been laid off left and right. But Nucor? It’s stuck to a no-layoffs policy, granting its workforce some job security.

Interestingly enough, Nucor’s bucked the trend in terms of cutting down its employee ranks. As of 2015, the company’s workforce was 25% bigger than it was in 2009, according to The Motley Fool.

5. Publix

A worker strolls into a Publix Super Market

A worker strolls into a Publix Super Market | Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

Working at a grocery store may not be the most glamorous career. But it can be a solid job. Every community needs a supermarket, after all. And if you’re going to work in the grocery industry, you can’t do better than a job at Publix. Publix is consistently named as one of the best employers in America, and there are a lot of reasons for that. We suggest reading this piece from Fortune by a reporter who actually took a temporary job at a Publix store to figure out what was going on there.

Needless to say, he came away impressed.

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