Public sector increasingly nervous about jobs

Stephan Shakespeare
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IN the run up to the Christmas season feelings of insecurity surrounding employment situations can become more acute.

A monthly Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) produced by YouGov SixthSense has found that a net percentage of employees were more fearful for their jobs in October (net -20 per cent) than they had been during September (net -17 per cent). This ties in with the general trend of increasing fears over job security since spring 2010 (see graph).

Concern about job security differs between public and private sector employees. By subtracting the percentage of people who currently feel secure in their position from those fearing impending job loss, YouGov SixthSense calculated a net -31 per cent level of confidence in job security amongst public sector workers, while confidence amongst private sector employees stands at a net -14 per cent. The Comprehensive Spending Review has started to make public sector workers nervous.

Widespread feelings of employment insecurity exist in spite of a perceived increase in the level of business activity in the UK: both private and public sectors recorded positive net increases in this regard (four per cent and 14 per cent respectively). Similarly, from September to October a net zero per cent level of income change was recorded.

Despite this, those employed are still feeling the pinch as 67 per cent said price changes have negatively affected them, with only two per cent welcoming recent price fluctuations.

YouGov SixthSense also recorded a nine per cent net increase this month in the need for additional borrowing in respect of Credit Cards, overdrafts and other unsecured loans.

The consumer prognosis for next year is also grim. YouGov respondents overwhelmingly believe goods and services will cost more this time next year, with unemployed people registering the lowest level of confidence that prices will remain stable.

Stephan Shakespeare is chief executive and co-founder of YouGov