Older workers’ confidence in their job security fell by as much as 10 percent in January 2013, according to new research from Legal & General’s Job Security Index.
Confidence over job security among workers aged 45 and 54 fell by 10 percent since October 2012 to 69 percent. Workers aged 55 and over experienced a six percent drop to 76 percent over the same period.
Like-for-like figures also fell, from 72 percent in January 2012 to 69 percent in January 2013 for workers aged 45 to 54. Figures for workers aged 55 and over fell from 75 percent to 70 percent over the same period.
Young workers (18 to 24) were the only group to show an increase in confidence over job security since October 2012, from 76 percent to 80 percent.
The biggest fall was felt by those aged between 35 and 44, from a high of 77 percent in October to 70 percent in January 2013. This group were also most likely to worry about maintaining their standard of living in 2013 (60 percent), compared to a national average among all workers of 54 percent.
This research gives an indication of how confidence over job security can shift throughout a career and how public trends, such as the financial downturn, may cause a shift in feelings. Some trends are to be expected – workers aged between 35 and 44 often have significant financial responsibilities, such as children and elderly parents, which can fuel worries over what will happen if a job was lost.
HR must remember that internal culture doesn’t always mirror national trends – it’s important to measure worker concerns over job security to ensure the business is providing the support necessary to improve workplace happiness and productivity.
As employees work later in life, companies will need to dedicate more time to understanding the on-going needs of older employees, which will inevitably include concerns over how safe their job is in the long-term.
Mark Holweger, Director at Legal & General’s general insurance business said: “Concerns about younger people being able to find employment is regularly making the headlines, but for those who are already employed, it is the older workers, who are most concerned about their future job security. With an increasing number of older workers having to continue to work for longer than they had planned it is understandable to see them becoming increasingly worried about their future job security.”