Survey results demonstrate workers' anxieties

According to a survey released by Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., U.S. workers are worried about job security and are as anxious now as they were during the 2001 recession.

Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy and director for the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University and co-author of the survey, says tighter credit, a weak housing market, rising costs and layoffs are making workers more anxious.

“That’s just the new normal, and people don’t like the new normal,” Van Horn says. “There’s a lot of bad news out there, and the workplace is just one of the weak spots.”

Following are some of the survey results:
  • Thirty-two percent of respondents were "very" concerned about job security and 43 percent were "somewhat" concerned.
  • Seventy-three percent want the government to pay for job retraining programs.
  • Eighty percent want the government to prevent jobs from being shipped overseas.
  • Fifty-three percent say they are "very" satisfied with their jobs, and 38 percent are "somewhat" satisfied.
  • Forty-three percent believe they won’t have enough money to retire.
  • Twenty-nine percent say the amount they owe on credit cards exceeds their retirement savings.
  • About one-third says they often don’t have enough money to make ends meet.
  • Many respondents had favorable attitudes about their health and retirement benefits (62 percent), number of hours they work (83 percent) and annual income (74 percent).
  • Fifty-five percent of hourly workers are satisfied with their health and medical benefits compared with 75 percent of salaried workers.
The survey polled 1,000 working and unemployed people in the U.S., including 587 currently employed male and female workers of various ages, ethnicities and work environments. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Date : 9/3/2008