Job loss is a concern for half of workers across the world

Job insecurity and ability to the learn essential new skills on the job vary widely across countries.

A new Ipsos survey of more than 12,000 working adults from 27 countries for the World Economic Forum finds 54% of them expressing concern about losing their job in the next 12 months. Perceived job insecurity varies widely across countries: it is stated by three in four workers in Russia, compared to just one in four in Germany.

Two thirds of workers worldwide say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer. While nearly nine in ten workers in Spain report being able to gain essential new skills on the job, fewer than half in Japan, Sweden and Russia do.

Concern about job loss

On average, 54% of employed adults from 27 countries say they are concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months (17% are very concerned and 37% somewhat concerned). The prevalence of being concerned about losing one’s job in the next year ranges from 75% in Russia, 73% in Spain, and 71% in Malaysia, to just 26% in Germany, 30% in Sweden, and 36% in the Netherlands and the United States.

Ability to acquire new skills

Globally, 67% of employed adults surveyed say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer (23% are very much able to do so, 44% somewhat able). Across the 27 countries, perceived ability to learn and develop those skills on the job is most widespread in Spain (86%), Peru (84%), and Mexico (83%) and least common in Japan (45%), Sweden (46%), and Russia (48%).

New skill acquisition vs. job insecurity

Globally, workers are more likely to say they can learn and develop skills needed for the jobs of the future through their current employer (67%) than to express concern about losing their job in the next 12 months (54%), a difference of 13 percentage points. The countries where those who can gain new skills on the job outnumber those who are concerned about losing their job by the largest margins are the United States and Germany (by 40 points). In reverse, job loss concern is more prevalent than perceived ability to acquire skills in Russia (by 28 points) and, to a lesser extent in Malaysia, Poland, Japan, Turkey, and South Korea.

These are the results of a 27-country survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (mainland) , France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.
Ipsos interviewed a total of 12,430 employed adults aged 18-74 in United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and 16-74 in 22 other countries between September 25 and October 9, 2020.