A new Eurobarometer survey shows that more than a third of European citizens currently working (35%) are concerned about losing their jobs. This proportion has increased slightly since 2009 (+2 points).
At a time when Europe is experiencing grave economic challenges, certain key social indicators show a large majority of respondents feeling that the EU as a whole has taken a backward step in recent times. With 71% of Europeans pessimistic about the chances that the economic crisis will end soon and 87% saying that poverty has increased (more than in 2009).
However, the general sense of gloom about society as a whole – and about the chances of the economic crisis ending quickly – has not translated into a crisis of confidence when it comes to the way in which most respondents view their own prospects.
More people in 2011 are confident that they will keep their job than in 2009, two-thirds remain confident that they will have a job in two years’ time, and over 60% say that they would be likely to fund another job relatively quickly in the event of redundancy.
24% of respondents currently working would also consider starting their own business in response to redundancy. Citizens are most acutely worried about their jobs in Spain (72%), in Greece (63%) and in Lithuania (61%).
Europeans generally consider that the impact of the EU on employment and social policies in their country is beneficial: 52% say it has a positive impact on employment policy and 51% on social policy (the most positive country is Slovakia with 74% and 71%).
There is a general appetite for more and better information about the future job market where 58% would like to receive information on taking decisions about training courses and the kind of job to apply for in the future.