Almost half of workers don't feel secure in their jobs, posing a major challenge for employers
07 July, 2023
Global research shows 62% of workers don’t think any profession will escape the effects of economic uncertainty
Mumbai, 07 July 2023 - According to the ADP® Research Institute’s People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View report, a concerning 47% of employees in India do not feel secure in their positions. This figure surpasses the average across the 17 countries surveyed, where approximately four in 10 workers (38%) share similar sentiments about job security. This stark contrast indicates that employers in India may need to take proactive measures to demonstrate their commitment to their staff.
Across markets, feelings of job insecurity are highest among the young. According to a survey of over 32,000 workers, half (50%) of Gen Z (18-24 year-olds) say they do not feel secure in their job. This is double the proportion of over 55s who say the same (24%).
The findings come as job cuts hit the headlines across many sectors, including tech companies and professional services firms, and following ongoing challenges in industries hit hard by the pandemic, such as hospitality. This has been exacerbated by fears that emerging AI tools and automation technologies will further threaten roles across industries.
A majority of workers, six in 10 (60%), believe that no profession will remain unaffected by the current economic uncertainty. Furthermore, approximately 25% of workers anticipate that the utilisation of AI will become commonplace in their industry within the next five years, leading to a reduction in manual tasks.
The report reveals that in India, employees in the real estate sector (56%), the construction industry (55%), and related employment experience the highest levels of job insecurity. On an international scale, workers in the media and information industry are most likely to express a lack of job security, with 54% reporting such feelings, closely followed by those in the hospitality and leisure sector (51%). Furthermore, an alarming 60% of respondents across the surveyed countries indicated their willingness to consider working unpaid hours in order to enhance the security of their jobs.
Mr. Rahul Goyal, MD, ADP comments: “Workers are bound to be worried about their jobs in these volatile and uncertain economic times, especially in light of recent reports of large-scale job losses at prominent corporations and the alleged threat of AI to human employment.
“However, many businesses continue to have serious problems finding and keeping talent, so the situation may not be as dire as some people believe. Given these competing interests, employers may need to further reassure employees that they are valued, that their efforts are acknowledged, and that their futures at the firm are bright.”
“Making staff feel confident that their position is secure where that’s the case, and that they have scope to grow with the company will help them focus on doing a good job. If employers can do this while ensuring they’re offering fair pay and an inclusive, engaging workplace culture, workers are likely to feel much more positively towards the company they work for.
“But if employers don't reassure their workers, they risk losing critical skills, experience and enthusiasm, which can make it difficult to provide the services their customers and clients expect.”
Against this backdrop, globally, one in five Gen Z workers (20%) have considered changing industries in the past 12 months, and a quarter (25%) have considered starting their own business. By contrast, one in six over 55s (17%) have pondered taking early retirement, potentially exacerbating the so-called 'grey resignation’.
“Job insecurity is a growing concern for workers worldwide, highlighting the need for employers to take proactive measures. Businesses should work closely with their Human Resources departments and experts to ensure staff are reassured of their positions and the financial strength of the company to deliver on wages, including the smooth running of payroll functions. As a priority, employers need to explore strategies for building job security and employee satisfaction now and create a secure and fulfilling work environment.”
For more insights, please read the ‘People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View’ report here.
About the research
People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View explores employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.
ADP Research Institute® surveyed 32,612 workers in 17 countries around the world between 28 October and 18 November 2022, including over 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy. This included:
- 7,721 in Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India and Singapore)
- 15,290 in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK)
- 5,751 in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile)
- 3,850 in North America (USA and Canada).
Within the worker sample gig workers and traditional workers were identified. Gig workers were identified as those who work on a contingent, temporary, or seasonal basis, or as a freelancer, independent contractor, consultant, gig worker, or use an online platform to source work. Traditional employees were identified as those who are not working in the gig economy and instead have a permanent full or part-time position.
The survey was conducted online in the local language. Overall results are weighted to represent the size of the working population for each country. Weightings are based on labour force data from the World Bank, which is derived using data from the ILOSTAT database, the central statistics database of the International Labour Organization (ILO), as of February 8, 2022.
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 Source: The World Bank, Labor force, total, World Development Indicators database, February 8 2022