More than half of workers worldwide fear they’ll lose their jobs

As a new wave of COVID-19 infections sweeps Europe and the United States, more than half of workers around the globe are worried they could lose their jobs in the next year.

A poll for the World Economic Forum found that Russians exhibited the deepest unease about job security, with 75 percent of respondents saying they are concerned about their employment [File: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg]

More than half of workers around the world are worried about losing their jobs, according to a survey measuring labor-market insecurity wreaked by the coronavirus crisis.

The poll of 12,430 people for the World Economic Forum showed 54% of them are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” that their employment will cease in the next year. Respondents were from 27 countries spread around the world, including almost all of the Group of 20 economies.

The report highlights the collective angst about livelihoods that the coronavirus crisis is breeding just as a new surge in infections in Europe underscores the persistence of the pandemic. The International Labour Organization estimated last month that the damage caused was equivalent to 500 million jobs in the second quarter.

Russians exhibited the deepest unease, with 75% of respondents revealing concern about their employment. In Germany, by contrast, the equivalent outcome was just 26%.

The survey by Ipsos of working-age adults, taken between Sept. 25 and Oct. 9, also asked if they can learn and develop skills for the jobs of the future from their current employer. Spain scored highest, with 86% of respondents saying so. Japan, Sweden and Russia were lowest, with fewer than 50% replying that they can learn such skills on the job.

Source: Bloomberg