Job security a worry in world's key economies

May 11 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Workers within some of the world's key economic powerhouses are the most worried about losing their jobs, according to new research.

Confidence around job security has reached an all-time high across the globe, according to the study by Right Management Consultants.

But this optimism is least pronounced in the most powerful Western economies, including the U.S, UK, France and Germany.

According to the study, workers in Norway, Japan, and Denmark are the most confident when it comes to job security.

In Norway, just 3.4 per cent of workers say there is a possibility they could lose their job in the coming year, while only five per cent of Japanese and Danish workers say the same.

But the world's most pessimistic workers are in Germany, where nine out of ten workers say it would be difficult to find another job.

The bi-annual survey found that almost one in five British employees still believe that there is a possibility that they will be laid off in the next year with almost three quarters (71 per cent) believing that if they were laid off, they would find it difficult to find employment of a similar grade on similar pay.

But the UK results also showed an overall increase in confidence (up 1.9 points from November 2005).

Workers in the U.S were even less optimistic than their counterparts in the UK, coming fourth from bottom in the 18-strong list, ahead only of France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

A total of 23.8 per cent of U.S workers (compared with 24.2 per cent in the UK) said there was a chance they could lose their jobs in the next 12 months.

Doug Matthews, group executive vice president at Right Management, said Hurricane Katrina had probably contributed to the drop in confidence levels within the U.S.

And for the UK, Tony Martin, general manager of its UK arm RightCoutts, said it was clear British employers had some way to go if their workers were to be as confident in their employment as their European counterparts.

"Employers must ensure that they communicate openly and honestly with their employees, especially when it comes to crucial issues such as job security.

"Employees who are worried about their future are likely to be less focused and engaged, which ultimately is bad for business," he added.