Fear of job loss remains high among younger and less affluent Americans, according to new research by Millionaire Corner, which shows an improving employment picture has eased but not alleviated worries about job security.
The private sector continues to add jobs, including an increase of 209,000 positions from February to March of this year, according to a report released yesterday by ADP, a private payroll service. The monthly ADP National Employment Report is widely viewed as a predictor of the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll report, due out tomorrow. A panel of economists surveyed by Bloomberg LP predicts the Labor Department will report a gain of 205,000 jobs in March, keeping the unemployment rate at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.
Meanwhile, the number of claims for unemployment insurance continues to fall, reaching 357,000 for the week ending March 31 - a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week, according to data released today by the Labor Department. The total number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits fell to 7,050,709 - a decreased of 107,760 from the previous week.
The numbers describe slow and steady improvement s in the job market, and the good news has eased though not erased Americans’ fears of job loss, according to our research tracking the attitudes and behaviors of Mass Affluent investors. The Mass Affluent individual has a net worth of $100,000 up to $1 million, not including primary residence.
More than 40 percent of Mass Affluent investors are worried about job loss for themselves or their spouse, according to a Millionaire Corner study completed in the first quarter of 2012. The fear of job loss is most acute for investors ages 45 to 54. More than half (54 percent) said they are worried about themselves or their spouse becoming unemployed.
Though fear of job loss remains significant, the concern has moderated somewhat from the worst of the economic crisis, according to our research. Nearly half the Mass Affluent identified job security as a personal financial concern in 2009. Nonetheless, fear of job loss ranks as a top financial concern among younger investors participating in a monthly survey conducted by Millionaire Corner in February.
Participants age 40 and younger identify job security and personal debt as their top two financial issues, followed by the ability to save for the future. Similar levels of concern were expressed by participants with less than $100,000 in investable assets. Job loss ranked in the top three financial concerns for investors ages 41 to 50, who were also worried about personal debt levels and having enough money saved for retirement.