Most Americans Feel Less Confident about their Employment Status

job interview Despite the gradual economic rebound, many Americans still feel less comfortable with their finances now than they did 12 months ago, according to a poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Many are still reeling from the ravages of unemployment, which they do not feel have gone away.

The survey found that age is a big factor: Job security declines with age, and therefore insecurity about finances rise. Also, Baby Boomers who have been laid off have been forced to use their retirement savings, while younger workers are still confident that they'll be able to make up their savings losses before retirement. And of course, many Baby Boomers are finding it harder-and-harder to become employed again.

Among the survey's findings:
  • Just 1 in 10 people between ages 50 and 64 feel more secure about their job compared to a year ago, while 29 percent feel less secure.
  • Workers younger than 30 are more than three times more likely to feel more secure about their job than they did a year ago when compared with workers in their 50s and early 60s.
  • Age significantly impacts overall financial security, with one of every three respondents over 50 believing they are worse off, while only 15 percent of people younger than 30 feeling that way.

Although older workers are even less secure, younger workers don't feel uber-confident when it came to finances, either. The survey also found that:

  • Twice as many people feel less comfortable about their savings level, when compared to those who felt better: 38 percent versus 19 percent.
  • More than three quarters, or 78 percent, of Americans either spent less than, or nearly equal to what they expected to spend during their holiday shopping this year
  • 31 percent of workers with incomes less than $30,000 feel least comfortable with their debt loads. Those who earn more than $75,000 are not far behind, with 17 percent feeling less comfortable with their current debt.
  • Nearly one in three men say his net worth has risen in the last year, but among women, the figure is just 22 percent.

Despite the temporary upticks in holiday spending, surveys like these show that American workers of all ages are not as confident about their jobs or income levels. They're saving more, and spending less, which in the long run could prove for a more sustainable recovery -- assuming we can survive that long run.

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