September 21, 2023

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Half of working adults fear for their jobs

In a new World Economic Forum survey of more than 12,000 working adults in 27 countries, more than half (54 per cent) say they are concerned about losing their jobs in the next 12 months.

Perceived job insecurity varies across countries: it is stated by three in four workers in Russia, compared to one in four in Germany.
Two-thirds of workers worldwide say they can learn skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer. Nearly nine in ten workers in Spain think they can gain essential new skills on the job, whereas fewer than half in Japan, Sweden and Russia. On average, 54 per cent of employed adults from 27 countries say they are concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months (17  are very concerned and 37 per cent somewhat concerned). The prevalence of job-loss concern in the next year ranges from 75 per cent in Russia, 73 per cent in Spain, and 71 per cent in Malaysia, to just 26 per cent in Germany, 30 per cent in Sweden, and 36 per cent in the Netherlands and the United States.

Globally, 67 per cent of employed adults surveyed say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer (23 per cent are very much able to do so, 44 per cent somewhat able). Across the 27 countries, perceived ability to learn and develop those skills on the job is most widespread in Spain (86 per cent), Peru (84 per cent), and Mexico (83 per cent) and least common in Japan (45 per cent), Sweden (46 per cent), and Russia (48 per cent).

Managing Director, the World Economic Forum Saadia Zahidi, said: “The current crisis means that the job creation rate has gone significantly down compared to two years ago, but there is an optimistic scenario overall compared to the rate of job destruction. Of course, it depends on the choices we make today. It depends on the kinds of investments governments make today – and the investments workers make in terms of their own time. And it depends on the choices that business leaders make when it comes to retaining and protecting jobs versus shorter-term decisions that are more focused on quarterly results.”

Globally, workers are more likely to say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer (67 per cent) than to express concern about losing their job in the next 12 months (54 per cent), a difference of 13 percentage points. The countries where those who can gain new skills on the job outnumber those who are concerned about losing their job by the largest margins are the United States and Germany (by 40 points).

In reverse, job loss concern is more prevalent than perceived ability to acquire skills in Russia (by 28 points) and, to a lesser extent in Malaysia, Poland, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea. Job losses and the skills challenge are two of the issues that will be addressed at the forthcoming Job Reset Summit.

The summit brings together more than 1200 visionary leaders from business, international organisations, government, civil society, media and the broader public to shape a new agenda for growth, jobs, skills and equity. These are the results of a 27-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. Ipsos interviewed a total of 12,430 employed adults aged 18-74 in United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 22 other countries between September 25 and October 9, 2020. Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don’t knows or not stated responses


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