Global: How secure do people feel in their jobs?

Cheryl Kar
June 21, 2021, 11:14 AM UTC

An international survey conducted by YouGov in 17 markets in November 2020 and May 2021 explores how secure the public feels in their jobs and which markets have been worst affected by job losses

Unemployment is expected to be high in both rich and low-income countries in 2021. So even with the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations and life returning to normal in many countries, it’s worth asking if the public feel secure in their jobs. Our data suggests many do not.

Compared to all markets, Indians and Singaporeans show the highest level of job insecurity – something which may be caused by the second wave of the pandemic in India and the emergence of new community COVID-19 cases in Singapore. A similar attitude can be found in Hong Kong (20%), Italy (14%), Indonesia (14%), France (7%) and Poland (9%) where those who are less secure in their jobs markedly outnumber those who feel more secure. Even in the United Arab Emirates, where vaccinated consumers are now allowed to attend cultural and sports events, Emiratis (21%) continue to feel less secure in their jobs.

Mexicans registered the highest levels of expected job security in the study, with one in six adults saying they are more secure (16%). Mexico is witnessing a steady decline in active coronavirus cases and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently announced that “the pandemic continues to lose strength”. Australians (8%) and Danes (6%) are also more likely to say that they feel more secure in their work than they are to say the opposite (6% and 4%, respectively).

2020 saw the one of the sharpest rises of unemployment around the world with a whopping 220 million jobs lost. Our database indicates that India has been one of the worst-affected countries with one in five Indians (19%) claiming that they have lost their job due to the outbreak of coronavirus. This may well have contributed to the improved performance of NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) as many Indians look for financial assistance to pay for medical emergencies or even cover everyday expenses. By comparison, Denmark (2%) and Sweden (3%) experienced the lowest job loss rate.

Furthermore, our data reveals that, globally, those working part time (20%) are more likely to feel less secure in their job than those working full time (17%).

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Methodology

The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 511 and 2101 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in May 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.