Job Security Fears Increase for U.S. Workers -Survey

Discussion in 'Economics' started by omcate, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. omcate


    Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:12 AM ET

    By Kevin Plumberg
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. workers and employers diverged in their views on the workplace and the economy in the last three years, with workers more concerned than their bosses about job security, according to a survey published on Thursday.

    But both agreed that the federal government has reacted poorly to job-related issues and should do more to prevent jobs from being moved to other countries.

    The survey, done by Rutgers University in February and March, found that more than half of all workers were very concerned about their job security, up from 42 percent of workers polled in July 2003. By contrast, about one-third of managers and executives polled in the recent survey said they were very concerned about the job security of workers.

    "Sparking this concern is the fact that large numbers of workers are experiencing job loss themselves, among their co-workers, or in their families, but are finding sporadic or little access to services that could reconnect the unemployed to jobs," the report said.

    The survey painted a grim picture of the labor market, with one in five workers laid off in the past three years. However, 95 percent of workers who lost a job found a new one, the survey said, suggesting most workers were able to adapt to changing economic conditions.

    When it came to judging the health of the economy, workers and employers looked at different things. Workers were more likely to say that the number of people unemployed was an important indicator of the economy's health.

    But employers thought interest rates on bank loans were more important in rating the economy.

    The timing of the survey could be an important factor in measuring the attitudes of workers, since the government had not yet released its upbeat March employment report showing the economy created 308,000 new non-farm jobs in the month.

    William Rodgers, a professor and chief economist at Rutgers, said the positive news on jobs would not have affected views much. "One month won't erase the fact that people have been out of work for six months, a year or two years," he said.

    Nevertheless, workers and employers found some common ground in their negative opinions of how President Bush has handled employment issues. Nearly one-third of workers said Bush is doing a poor job and only 7 percent thought he was doing an excellent job. Twenty-two percent of employers rated Bush poorly and 18 percent said he was doing an excellent job.

    A clear majority of workers and employers, 72 percent of workers and 66 percent of employers, also said the government should do more to stem the flow of jobs moving overseas.

    The survey polled a random sample of 1,007 workers and 502 employers from February to mid-March.

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