Fear of redundancy is on the increase amongst UK workers, but their fears are nothing compared with the deep pessimism felt by their German colleagues.
The latest edition of the Global Career Confidence Index compiled by Right Management Consultants has found that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK employees believe that there is a chance they will be made redundant in the coming year, a rise of four per cent since November 2004.
Almost seven out of 10 employees currently also believe that it would be difficult to find alternative work of a similar grade if they lost their current job.
Jo Bond, managing director, RightCoutts, said that recent bad news about manufacturing jobs, the collapse of MG Rover and job losses at companies such as IBM had all conspired to dent confidence in the UK jobs market.
"Often, events in the media prompt employees to reassess their own job security and their potential to bounce back from redundancy," she said.
"UK employers must take this opportunity to retain their top workers, allaying their concerns by communicating with them openly and honestly about how their jobs align with ongoing business strategy."
Global career confidence has increased once again, up 1.5 points from 51.2 in November 2004 to 52.7 this May. The UK mirrors this average, with a score of 52.7, contrasting with Norway, which tops the table with 63.2 points.
But Germany, where unemployment has hit record highs, has the lowest level of confidence in the survey with a score of only 43.1.
Although career confidence has increased in the US, Americans still fall behind the global average, with a score of 49.7.
Across Europe, Norwegians were most confident that they would stay in their jobs, with only four per cent expressing redundancy concerns. They were also amongst the most secure when it came to looking for alternative employment, with two-thirds worried about their ability to bounce back following redundancy.
In contrast, 27 per cent of Belgian workers believe that they risk redundancy over the following year, and a staggering 97 per cent of Germans are concerned about finding employment if they were to be laid-off.
Confidence amongst US workers is on the up, with only 19 per cent of workers believing that they might be laid-off, down four per cent from 23 per cent in November 2004.
However, workers in the US are slightly more concerned about their ability to find alternative employment, with 80 per cent voicing concerns, in comparison with 79 per cent in November.
Jo Bond added that overall, the UK jobs outlook was positive.
"While high profile redundancies might cause a few wobbles amongst UK employees, the overall figures show that the British economy is in good shape and, more importantly, that employers and employees alike are aware of redundancy as an issue, and are really thinking about managing their career."