WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Companies across the nation are laying off employees at the start of the new year, but experts say the labor force shouldn’t panic.

Companies like Hallmark, Macy’s and Russell Stover’s announced this week that they will be laying off employees.

One economist says laid-off workers won’t have a hard time finding work, because there are plenty of jobs available.

“It’s not going to be as hard given the economic conditions that we have, not only here in the Wichita or Kansas area than otherwise,” said Jeremy Hill, Director of Economic Development and Business Research at WSU.

Even Spirit Aerosystems is offering voluntary layoffs, but Hill says employees should look at the bright side.

“This is an opportunity for people to move up,” said Hill. “A voluntary layoff in tight labor markets where we’re at right now means these people were already, could already have been on the margin. They could’ve been looking for another job, moving up in their career and this is a good time to take a severance package, they get a benefit from the severance package and then they have the transition time of getting that second job.”

While layoffs can be a cause for concern, Hill says the economy is doing just fine.

“For households, this is not recession oriented, so there’s not a mass panic for the economy,” said Hill. “If you are in one of these company’s and you’re being affected, you’re likely to get a job pretty quickly. In industries that are struggling, you move to an industry that’s growing, wages will go up, you have some better opportunity. For the overall household, when you’re not directly impacted, this is not going to have such an impact that it will slow down retail spending or anything else.”

The unemployment rate in Kansas is at 3.1% and the misery index is at 2.73%, further indicating the state of Kansas is not suffering.

“There could be some good deals to be had for the consumption side,” said Hill. “You can go out there and maybe you can get some good deals towards the end of closing for some of these retail sectors. They’ll have some closeout sales and they might have a benefit to the household side.”