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Job Security? Older Workers More Worried Now

As the economic recovery  gains some momentum, job security among younger workers is much less a concern than it was a year ago. Not so with older workers. They’re more worried about losing their jobs, a new survey finds.

Of 1,656 employees polled, 36 percent of those 50-plus say they’re concerned that they could lose their job in the next 12 months. That’s up from 34 percent who said the same in July 2011 and 32 percent who expressed those fears in July 2008, when the recession was in full swing.

Yet workers under 50 aren’t losing sleep over job security like they were last year: 36 percent say they’re concerned about being ousted, a big drop from the 46 percent who said the same a year ago.

Among all ages, workers polled in the Mercer Workplace Survey, which tracks employees attitudes, were more optimistic about the economy. As many as 73 percent expect the economy to grow in the year ahead. Still, 27 percent anticipate a recession in 2013, down from 40 percent who said that last year.

When it comes to retirement savings, older employees are socking away higher amounts than their younger counterparts – but not by much. Those 50-plus say they expect to put $8,242 in a 401(k) within the next 12 months; younger workers say they plan to save $7,995.

Modest savings levels may be causing people to question their ability to retire comfortably. And that could explain why older workers (59 percent) were much more inclined than younger workers (37 percent) to say they expected to delay retirement.

Working longer, financial planners say, is the antidote to insufficient retirement savings, which brings us to the next question. Given the retirement savings workers have in place, and the rate at which they’re contributing, how do they envision their retirement?


Photo credit: USAG-Humphreys via flickr.com