LYNCHBURG, Va (WFXR)– Economists say an increase in layoffs and closures throughout the nation may be partially tied to attempts to cool down inflation. Gerald Prante, an economist from the University of Lynchburg says the best thing people can do is prepare and be aware.

“There’s some economic uncertainty on the horizon, so you know there’s been high inflation over the last 18 months, the Fed trying to slow the economy down, specifically unemployment is often a lagging indicator,” said Prante.

Prante says layoffs can hit certain sectors harder than others– such as real estate and construction. However, he says all industries could be impacted.

“There’s going to be this multiplicative effect, so more people unemployed means they aren’t spending as much money which means that other people won’t see as busy a business, and then they may lay off people,” said Prante.

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent being laid off, Tim Saunders with Virginia Career Works in Lynchburg says one of the best things people can do is build their skillsets even if they are employed.

“Take advantage of those training opportunities that exist right now, our community colleges have many programs across the state that are available free of tuition,” said Saunders.

However, if you are laid off, there are resources available in the community to help you get back on your feet.

“Provide people who have been laid off an opportunity to get connected with a career navigator who will help them overcome any obstacles they are facing to being quickly re-employed,” said Saunders.

Virginia Career Works also adds that in some cases, they can help people who are searching for a job also gain access to necessities such as transportation and childcare.

Prante adds that maintaining a strong resume and skillset along with knowing ahead of time what resources there are to help if you are laid off, is essential.

“If there are more mass layoffs, then you should be familiar with that process, that’s basically what people need to understand,” said Prante.

Additionally, economists urge people to save money where they can, especially with so many economic uncertainties.