The latest figures from Legal & General’s Job Security Index show that UK workers’ confidence in their job security has dropped by 6% since October 2012, when confidence levels were at an Index high of 78%. Only just over a quarter, (27%) of UK workers believe that their current job is secure and are therefore not actively looking for other jobs, a 4% decrease since the last quarter and a 6% decrease since October 2012 when a third, (33%) of people said they were confident in their job security.
Full-time workers’ confidence in their job security has dropped by 4% from 79% to 75% since October 2012, and part-time workers’ confidence in their job security over the same period shows the biggest fall of 7%, from 73% to 66%.
However, over the last quarter, confidence in job security has actually remained at the same level, with just under three quarters, (72%) of those surveyed saying that they were confident in their job security, the same level as in July 2013. The fact that confidence levels have remained unchanged this quarter could reflect potential improvement in job security, for some sectors of the market. For example, part-time workers’ confidence in their job security has improved by 2% this quarter, rising from 64% in July 2013 to 66% for October 2013.
Alongside part-time workers saying that they feel more confident this quarter, 25 – 34 year olds have also edged ahead of 18 – 24 year olds as being the most confident in their job security – with confidence levels of 77% and 75% respectfully. However, the level of confidence for 25-34 year olds is lower than a year ago when confidence in job security for this age group was at 79%. In addition, the level of confidence in job security for 35 – 44 year old workers has also fallen to a low of 69%, a significant 8% drop since October 2012 when the confidence level for this age group was at 77%.
It is also interesting to see that the use of zero hour contracts is having an impact on the confidence of younger workers. 2% of working adults we surveyed said that they were on a zero hour contract and feel at risk of losing their job, but this doubles for 18 – 24 year olds, with 4% saying that they were on a zero hour contract and felt at risk of losing their job. This may be a reason why 18-24 year olds don’t feel as confident in their job security this quarter as they have previously.
Despite the rather negative position when reviewing the past year, there are encouraging signs that things could be improving over the last quarter. For example, the percentage of UK workers who think they’d be unemployed for longer than six months if they lost their job because of limited opportunities available has halved, from 8% in July 2013 to 4% for this quarter. This has dramatically decreased for those aged 45-54, with a fall from 11% in July 2013 to 5% in October 2013. This suggests that even though confidence in job security remains low, workers are increasingly optimistic that they’d be able to find an alternative job.
Mark Holweger, Director of Legal & General’s general insurance business said: “Looking back over the past 12 months, ourJob Security Index paints a very different picture today from a year ago, with confidence in job security falling from its highest level in October 2012, (78%) to its lowest level today, (72%).
“However, it’s interesting that this low level of confidence in job security appears to be in conflict with the most recent labour market statistics, which show that the unemployment rate for the UK population is at a lower level than it was in October last year.* So levels of employment have actually improved over the same period. The reality could be that Brits are still cautious about the improving market outlook, and with announcements on job losses and business closures still a focus of news headlines, this is still having an impact on people’s confidence in their own job security and worries about how they will continue to maintain their standard of living.”
In total, nearly 1 in 5, (17%) of workers say they are worrying about how they will maintain their current standard of living over the next three months. The Job Security Index shows that it is public sector workers who are most worried when compared with private sector workers, at 20% and 15% respectively worrying about maintaining current living standards over the next three months.
Despite this significant level of concern, nearly three quarters, (72%) of working adults say they do not have any insurance in place which would help them to pay their bills if they were to lose their job tomorrow. This is the highest level since the Job Security Index began in January 2012.
Mark continued: “With the latest Job Security Index confirming that more UK workers than ever are failing to take out insurance cover to help pay their bills should they lose their job, it’s clear that many people still don’t have a contingency plan, such as insurance cover, in place to help with everyday living expenses should they lose their job. Confidence in job security has remained at an all-time low for two quarters now, and with December just a few months away the pressure of Christmas expenditure means it’s the worst possible time for workers not to feel confident about their work situation. We’re encouraging Brits to put measures in place to protect themselves so their quality of life isn’t compromised, should things go wrong.”
As published on legalandgeneralgroup.com