More than a third of European citizens currently working are concerned about losing their jobs

According to a new survey released, the proportion of European citizens who worries of losing their jobs have increased slightly since 2009. Furthermore, according to the social survey, a large majority of respondents feeling that the EU as a whole has taken a backward step in recent times.

The number of European citizens concerned about losing their jobs has increased slightly since 2009 (+2 points), according to the latest Eurobarometer. 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, at a time when Europe is experiencing grave economic challenges. With 71% of Europeans pessimistic about the chances that the economic crisis will end soon and 87% saying that poverty has increased. The situation has broadly changed in comparison to the optimism drawn from the social survey published in October.

On the other hand, 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 find 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%). Furthermore, confidence and optimism are far higher in some Member States than in others. Faith in the EU’s ability to make a positive impact has waned in countries where the economic outlook is currently the least promising, notably Spain, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus. In Spain, the most extreme example, the proportion of respondents saying that the EU is having a positive impact on the creation of new job opportunities and fighting unemployment is much lower than in 2009 (44%,-40 points).

In addition, 70% think the EU plays a positive role in making it easier for people to work in different EU Member States, 67% in improving access to education and training, 59% in making easier for people to start their own business, and 58% in setting minimum standards for working conditions throughout the EU. In tackling social and employment challenges, people agree behind the idea of flexicurity like regular training to improve job prospects, however half of the respondents disagree that many people retire too early.