Washington Post Poll: Fear of Job Loss at Record Levels

Friday, 29 Nov 2013 10:59 AM

By Michelle Smith

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American workers are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety about job security, The Washington Post reports.

Six in 10 workers in a Washington Post-Miller Center survey said they worry about losing their jobs to the economy. This level of concern surpasses the anxiety reported in more than a dozen surveys since the 1970s, says the Post.

In a joint survey, 32 percent of participants admitted to worrying “a lot” about losing their jobs, which is also a record high, the Post noted.

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

Looking beyond its own findings, the Post pointed to research by Time magazine, CNN and market research firm,Yankelovich, which also shows workers' anxiety at the highest levels in decades. And those surveys reveal that people with the lowest incomes are the most concerned.

Fifty-four percent of workers making $35,000 or less said they worry “a lot” about losing their jobs.

Individuals with low incomes are also worried about their financial security. 85 percent worry their household income will fall short of their expenses.

That's a 25-point increase compared with responses to the same question in 1971, says the Post.

The level of fear isn't the only thing changing, so is the unity among the fearful. Generally Americans’ tend to be divided on issues such as economic perceptions. But with this “new anxiety” there is no political, racial or gender divides, says the Post.

People who worry are united by their lower incomes and lack of college education, and they are occupying their own “island of insecurity.”

As a growing number of employers claim their hiring efforts are being hindered by an increasing skills gap, some suggest unskilled workers have valid reason for concern, as the outlook is bleak.

“High-paying jobs for people who didn’t go to college just aren’t there anymore” Melissa Kearney, an economist at the Brookings Institution tells the Post.

But despite the shifting dynamics in the labor market and the fear among workers, people with the lowest earnings are the least active in taking steps to become more qualified workers.

According to the Post-Miller survey results less than four in 10 workers with annual earnings under $35,000 participated in training programs in the past year to update their knowledge or skills.

That's compared with about half of middle-income workers and nearly two-thirds of those with household incomes over $75,000.

However, anxiety does affect how people work, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune, which cites research from the University of Phoenix.

According to that data, one in five Americans think about losing their job once a week, while one in 10 has the thought at least once a day.

Nearly a third of those survey participants said they were not inclined to speak up or disagree at work. 26 percent hadn't asked for promotions though they claimed to be increasingly competitive with co-workers. And 30 percent said they take on more projects voluntarily.

Editor’s Note: Obama Donor Banned This Message (Shocking)

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