Worries About Job Cutbacks Return to Record Highs

September 1, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – American workers’ concerns about various job-related cutbacks have returned to the record highs seen in 2009, after improving slightly in 2010, according to Gallup’s 2011 Work and Education poll. 

Three in 10 workers currently say they are worried they could soon be laid off, similar to the 31% seen in August 2009, but double the level recorded in August 2008 and for several years prior.

Separately, 30% of workers say they are worried their hours will soon be cut back, and 33% worry their wages will be reduced. Forty-four percent worry their benefits will be reduced, making this the most prevalent job-related concern.  

Workers are least likely to be concerned their company will move jobs overseas; at 13%, this is by one percentage point the highest level of concern since Gallup began measuring it in 2003.  

The extent of worry about job-related cutbacks is closely related to household income. Adults in households earning less than $50,000 are about twice as likely as those making $75,000 or more to be worried about being laid off, having their hours reduced, and seeing their company move jobs overseas. They are also somewhat more likely to be worried about reduced wages and benefits. 

Similarly, workers with no college education are typically more likely than those with either some college education or a college degree to be worried about these negative job prospects. 

The 2011 Work and Education poll was conducted August 11-14 and is based on nationally representative telephone interviews with 489 adults currently employed full or part time.