Worldwide Workers Concerned About Layoff Possibilities

March 26, 2003 ( - More than two-thirds of workers worldwide said it would be hard for laid-off employees in their country to find comparable work.

Workers around the world were uniformly gloomy about job prospects for the unemployed in their own countries. In 16 of 17 countries and Hong Kong surveyed, two-thirds or more of the workforce said it would be somewhat or very difficult for a laid off employee to find comparable work, according to the global Career Confidence Index conducted by Right Management Consultants.

Particularly steeped in pessimism were the larger countries. Overall, countries in which 80% or more of workers said it would be somewhat or very difficult to find comparable work were:

  • Germany (95%)
  • Italy (89%)
  • Switzerland (87%)
  • Hong Kong (85%)
  • United States (83%)
  • France (81%)
  • Ireland (80%)

The possibility of losing their jobs weighs heaviest on the minds of British workers, where one out of four fulltime Brits (27.5%) say there is a chance they could lose their job in the coming year. That figure is only slightly lower in the United States (26.6%) and Hong Kong (24.0%) but drops to one in five workers in Canada, Australia, Japan and Switzerland.

Living “the sweet life”

On the other side of the coin were Italians, who did not let the prospect of finding another job interfere with living la vita dolce, as 94% expressed little chance at the possibility of losing their job. Similar job stability optimism was found in Scandinavian workers, specifically:

  • Norway (93%)
  • Denmark (91%)
  • Sweden (91%)

The Career Confidence Index is based on interviews with workers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.