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Pessimistic Prospects

Pessimistic Prospects

45% of HR workers are more pessimistic about job prospects now than last month, according to a survey of over 2,900 people by the Keep Britain Working campaign (

Overall 45% said they were more pessimistic about job prospects this month than last month, while 14% were more optimistic - giving a Job Optimism Index Score of minus 31.

HR job pessimism has gone down 2 points since May when the Index figure was minus 29.

Overall, 52% of workers across the UK feel positive about their employers' response to the recession. Nearly a quarter - 23% - believe their employer is doing absolutely everything they can to support their staff through the recession.

However, 48% of people in work believe that their employer is actively exploiting the situation by imposing unnecessary pay cuts, reduced hours and redundancies.

These findings come at a time when people are still concerned about job prospects, but are less pessimistic than two months ago.

July's Keep Britain Working Job Optimism Index stands at minus 24, a 13 point improvement compared to May's Index (which stood at minus 37*). Overall, in July, 46% of people are more pessimistic about job prospects than last month while 22% are more positive.

James Reed, founder of the Keep Britain Working campaign which was set up to help preserve and create jobs, says:

"The unprecedented flexibility of the UK workforce, underpinned by positive relationships between staff and bosses, has saved jobs and prevented the unemployment figures from rising even faster.

"However, our finding that some UK workers feel exploited is a wake-up call to employers not to take flexibility for granted.

"With 95% of workers willing to make sacrifices to help preserve jobs, the challenge for bosses is to explain the hard choices that their organisations face, and work together with staff to explore innovative solutions.

"As pessimism about job prospects begins to lift, it is these organisations that will retain productive staff and attract skilled workers who feel exploited elsewhere."


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