Workers are “haunted” by the fear of redundancy as uncertainty continues to dog British industry.
A survey of 500 workers by recruitment outfit Pertemps found that one in three are worried about job security, far exceeding concerns about pay or long working hours.
Redundancy concerns were greatest in the industrial North East of England, with workers in the South more optimistic about their prospects. But two-thirds of workers based in Cambridge's high-tech ‘silicon fen’ also said that they feared for their jobs.
More than one in ten of those questioned said they would consider retirement if they were made redundant.
Pertemps’ Janet McGlaughlin, said that the tough economic climate means that redundancy is at the forefront of many workers' minds. But she advised people being made redundant not to panic and to try to remain positive about the chances of finding other work.
"If you feel your job may be at risk, it's important to plan for the worst case scenario at an early stage,” she said.
"Try to cut back on spending and build up a cash reserve - on top of any severance payment, this will give you the financial breathing space to find another job.
"While it may be scant consolation at the time, remember that redundancy can be a significant opportunity to reassess your career.
"Our research has found that many would use redundancy to make a positive change in their life - for instance, retraining for a new career or starting a family. Having this positive outlook is essential if you want to use redundancy as a springboard to better things."