The Harris Poll Jobs and Benefits Security Index offers an internal view into today's American workplace by reporting on the job/benefits security pulse of the worker. The online survey of 1,192 American workers was conducted
Benefits outlook brightens
U.S. workers display growing hope that they will see improvements in their benefits in the near future. Workers show an increased belief that they will receive better healthcare benefits in the next three months (20%, up from 16% each in April and March) and that they will receive better retirement benefits in that time (19%, up considerably from 13% in April and up slightly from 18% in March). Workers also show slight growth from April in the perceived likelihood that they'll get a raise from their employer in the next three months (from 29% in April to 32% in May), though this is still down slightly from the March level (34%).
Much like the
- 18% of U.S. workers – up from 15% in April – believe that they will be replaced by a lower cost employee.
- Workers are also increasingly afraid that they will have to work more without getting more money (56%, up from 53% in April and 50% in March).
Worsening worker fears on these core statements show ties to stated expectations that they will see responsibilities passed to either technological or manpower alternatives in the immediate future. Nearly half of U.S. workers (45%) anticipate that the next three months will find at least some of their job and/or responsibilities being replaced by one or more of a series of factors.
Technology (15%) and a co-worker taking over their responsibilities (14%) are the top perceived redundancies, followed by a lower cost employee within their company (12%) and temporary employees (11%). Younger employees (those 18-34) appear to feel particularly vulnerable to such efficiencies. This age group is most likely to believe at least one factor will replace some of their job or responsibilities in the next three months (57%). This is specifically seen with regards to technology (21%) or temporary employees (17%) replacing at least some of their responsibilities.
"That said," continues Angrisani, "the slight rise in the unemployment rate indicates that hiring continues to be an issue, as reflected in mounting concern among employees that they will be expected to do more for the same or less pay, or that their jobs will be displaced by lower cost options. Ultimately this increased pressure on the worker will lead to worker frustration and could dramatically impact company productivity overall."
Angrisani adds, "It is particularly interesting to note the age divide in job replacement fears. While younger generations are likely to be more technologically savvy, they are also more fearful of how technology may impact their future job prospects. A new economy could be one which values project-based workers who bring their own benefits packages to the table, just as they do their unique technology skills. This runs against the traditional model of a long term company employee with a full, company-provided benefits package."
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