US Workers Gripped by Job Loss Fear

November 16, 2005 ( - There is much fear these days around the average water cooler in US workplaces, a new survey found.

A news release from Right Management Consulting said that not only are US workers more nervous about being laid off than they were six months ago, they fret more about it than just about anyone in the world’s leading economies.

The poll found in September and October that 23.8% of US workers said it was very possible or somewhat possible that they would lose their jobs in the next 12 months. That’s up from only 19.3% who were that concerned about job loss in the survey conducted six months ago.

Just less than half of US workers polled said it was not at all possible they would get discharged, down from 52% who were that confident six months ago.

In fact, according to the announcement, the percentage of US workers concerned about losing their job is close to the highest level seen worldwide. It only marginally trails the 24.2% of those surveyed in United Kingdom and 24% in Canada who share that fear.

But the US workers are also more concerned than their British or Canadian counterparts with being able to find a replacement job if they get fired. Asked how easy it would be for the average person who is laid off to find a similar job at the same pay, 80.2% of Americans surveyed said it would be somewhat or very difficult. That’s little changed from the 79.8% who had that concern six months ago.

The combination of the two questions puts the US workers surveyed near the bottom of the Right Consulting’s Career Confidence Index, ahead of only Switzerland and Germany. Six months ago the United States was near the worldwide average, with seven nations having less confident workers.

Just over 1,000 Americans participated in the poll, and the other nations had 300 to 600 workers surveyed. Right Management is a subsidiary of Manpower, the temporary staffing firm.