Older workers’ confidence in their job security dropped by as much as 10% in January 2013 compared with last quarter’s findings, according to Legal & General’s Job Security Index.
Confidence in job security for workers aged between 45 and 54 fell by 10% since October 2012 when it was 79% to just 69% in January 2013 and for workers aged 55 and over there was a 6% drop to 76% confidence in their job security, over the same period.
The ONS employment statistics due out on Wednesday 20 March 2013, are for the period November 2012 to January 2013, so the Legal & General Job Security Index is a good barometer of how those in work at that time felt about their job security.
Older workers’ confidence in their job security also fell when compared with findings for the same time last year. Among workers aged between 45 and 54, confidence in their job security in January 2013 is 3% lower than it was in January 2012 (from 72% to 69%), and for workers aged 55 and over, their job security confidence is 5% lower, when compared to last year (from 75% in January 2012 to 70% in January 2013).
Although the Index shows a decrease in job security for older workers over the last quarter, there has been an increase in confidence in job security for younger workers. Those aged between 18 and 24 were the only age group to show increased confidence in their job security since October 2012, increasing by 4%, from 76% to 80%.
Conversely, confidence in job security among the ‘sandwich generation’, those aged between 35 and 44, has dropped to its lowest since the Index began, falling to 70% in January 2013, from a high of 77% in October 2012.
This group are also the most likely to say that they think they will worry about how they will maintain their current standard of living in 2013 (60%), compared to a national average of 54% among all workers. Those aged between 45 and 54 are the second most likely to say that they think they will worry about how they will maintain their standard of living in 2013, with over half, (54%) saying they’ll definitely or probably worry in 2013.
“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,” Mark Holweger, Director at Legal & General’s general insurance business said.
“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.
“What is really worrying is the drop in confidence in job security for the ‘sandwich generation’ — those who potentially have both children and elderly parents who are dependent on their income. The fall to 70% is an all-time low since the Job Security Index was launched last year.
“They are the ones most likely to have to stretch their income to cover a range of essential outgoings for their wider family members. So with such a significant number of them worried that they may not have a job to provide a steady, secure income for their families in the future, a contingency plan to pay essential bills and keep the family afloat if they were to lose their job is crucial.”
By Daniel Hunter