American workers remain almost as concerned about their jobs as they were five years ago, according to a new poll by Gallup.
Forty-three percent of Americans still fear their benefits will be cut, down slightly from 46 percent in 2009. Thirty-one percent believe their wages will be reduced, down from 32 percent in 2009.
Twenty-nine percent of Americans still believe they will be laid off, hardly changed from the 32 percent who believed the same five years ago. One quarter of Americans believe their hours will be cut back, down from 27 percent five years ago.
Gallup did not ask why respondents’ concerns were so high, but other polls have shown the economy and jobs to be Americans’ top priority. This would seem to indicate that consistently high unemployment and the perception that the economy has not fully recovered leads to currently elevated concerns.
Gallup could not definitively answer how American concerns were affecting the economy, but said “it could be somewhat distorting the labor market if workers are more reluctant than in the past to leave or change jobs.”
“Potentially more importantly, it could be a factor keeping a damper on consumer spending, if workers feel less confident about their primary source of income. If so, this could be an important barometer of a cycle in which worker uncertainty leads to sluggish consumer spending, which in turn leads to tepid job growth,” Gallup said.