American workers report greater anxiety about job security despite organizations supporting workers emotionally, new Randstad US survey shows

Career Climbers / 22nd December 2020

The massive upheaval that the pandemic generated in the workplace has taken its toll on the workforce, according to Randstad US, who has released U.S. data from the global Randstad Workmonitor Mobility Index. Fifty-six percent of American workers are feeling secure in their jobs during the second half of 2020, compared to 65 percent in the same period last year. Similarly, 12 percent of American workers feel there is a significant chance they will lose their job now, compared to eight percent in 2019. 

However, workplaces are also stepping up to support their workers’ mental and emotional health during the pandemic, according to 78 percent of those surveyed. This may be a major contributor to why 80 percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs despite rising anxiety. 

Even though many companies have placed an increased emphasis on skilling and allotted resources to assist employees with learning new skills, more than a third (35%) of all surveyed workers said it has been a challenge to learn new skills in 2020. Workers also have concerns about their companies’ ability to attract key talent following the pandemic, with 53 percent saying that their employers will struggle to find the right talent for new jobs after COVID-19. 

“Although there are unprecedented challenges facing American workers right now, we were pleased to see that many companies are doing exemplary jobs supporting their employees’ mental and emotional health,” said Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstad North America and Randstad N.V. executive board member. “We are also seeing that workers are committed to learning new skills to stay competitive in the labor market, a sign that we can rise to the challenge and come out of this stronger than ever before.”

The survey also found that Americans are contemplating the future of work. Decisions about commercial real estate utilization will be especially important in 2021 and beyond, as only 18 percent of workers consider “always working from an office” their ideal post-pandemic work environment. Twenty-seven percent prefer a mix of work-from-home and going into the office and another 26 percent prefer working from home permanently. 

Other key findings from the survey include: 

  • More Americans (7%) are actively looking for a job than was the case in the first half (4%) of 2020. This figure is also higher than the global average (5%) of workers actively seeking new employment in the second half of 2020. 
  • Thirty percent of American workers have been reassigned to another role within their current company, 19 percent have had their working hours increased without a salary raise and 18 percent would accept or have accepted a furlough, a temporary leave due to redundancy or a reduction of hours due to the pandemic. 
  • Forty-two percent of workers believe that employers bear the primary responsibility of retraining unemployed workers, but a majority (51%) believe that employees and employers jointly share the responsibility of keeping employees’ skills and competencies up-to-date. 
  • Nearly half (49%) of American workers would “like or expect” health insurance in a job after the pandemic, 44 percent would like to see salary protection and 41 percent would like to see codified health policies and safety protocols. 

To see a summary of report findings, visit Randstad Workmonitor Insights: H2 2020

About the Randstad Workmonitor 

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in 2003 and now covers 34 markets around the world. The study encompasses EuropeAsia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor was published four times a year until 2019, marking both local and global trends in mobility visible over time. In 2020, half-year measurements have been carried out. 

In addition to the rotating set of themed questions, the survey also addresses job satisfaction, captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next six months and provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. 

The study is conducted online among employees aged 18 to 65 who work a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). The minimum sample size is 800 interviews per market. The Dynata panel is used for sampling purposes.

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