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February 28, 2001
Most Workers Feel Secure But Are Prepared for Layoffs
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hough 73 percent of working adults feel secure in their current jobs, more than half of the respondents (58 percent) are taking precautions to prepare for the possibility of layoffs in the midst of concerns that a recession may hit the U.S. economy in 2001.

A newly-released report, "Job Security Within the U.S. Workforce" from Xylo Inc., provides insight into how the average American worker perceives the impact of a slowing economy and explores some of the mitigating factors that shaped their opinions.

Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of employees surveyed feel that their job is secure in light of talk about an economic slowdown and company layoffs, with more than half (56 percent) saying they feel very secure.

While the survey found that working women are only slightly more inclined than working men to feel very secure about their jobs (58 percent and 54 percent, respectively), the results illustrated clear trends based on age and gender. Thirty-one percent of employees over the age of 55 feel insecure, while only 19 percent of those under 34 years old feel insecure. Based on gender, a staggering 42 percent of men over the age of 55 were concerned over losing their jobs, compared to only 19 percent of women over age 55.

Although the majority of workers feel a sense of job security, 58 percent of respondents are taking precautions for the possibility of layoffs. Improving personal finances topped the list, with 26 percent indicating that they are saving money. Fifteen percent are taking steps to improve their position in the job market by interviewing for other positions, going back to school for a degree, increasing skills through job training courses, working harder to increase job security, updating their resume, and looking at want ads. Eight percent are altering their finances by cutting personal expenses, investing money, paying off debts or taking a second job.

Although a majority of the respondents were optimistic with respect to their job security, 34 percent believed they would be laid off or have their pay reduced if their company made staff reductions. One-fifth (20 percent) of workers believed they would be the individuals laid off if their company chose to make cuts, while 14 percent said they would be affected by pay cuts.

The report "runs counter to many of the recent media stories we've seen about workers' fears of an impending recession and massive layoffs," said Xylo President and CEO Norman Behar. "By and large, American workers feel secure in their current positions, but are wary that changes in their workplace could have significant repercussions."

A summary of the report is available at

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