Most Britons fear worse to come over jobs

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The Independent Online

More than 60 per cent of Britons fear the "worst is yet to come" in the economic crisis.

A new EU survey shows confidence in keeping a job has dropped significantly in the last three years, with only 50 per cent in the UK feeling sure of staying in work, compared with 64 per cent in 2006.

Pessimism is shared across the EU, with a third of Europeans "very concerned" that they may close their jobs because of the crisis.

"I am not surprised by the outcome of this survey," said EU Employment Commissioner Vladimir Spidla.

"Understandably, Europeans are concerned about the impact of the crisis on their jobs and families."

He said action had been taken at EU level, with a system of "micro-credits" for people wanting to start small businesses, and increased EU social policy funding to support job training and apprenticeships.

The EU-wide survey included 1,317 Britons polled in the first fortnight of June. It shows 63 per cent of Britons think "the worst is still to come", compared with a 61 per cent EU average.

According to the survey, 13 per cent of Britons have been in the same job for more than 20 years, while 38 per cent have stayed with the same employer for up to five years.

Only 29 per cent are "very confident" of having a job in two years' time - compared with an 18 per cent EU-wide average who share that confidence.

On EU efforts to solve the problem, 42 per cent of Britons said their knowledge of what the EU does for jobs and social affairs was "totally negative" - a rise of 9 per cent compared with three years ago.

But the Commission today highlighted the fact that, on average, 72 per cent of Europeans think the EU has a positive impact on job creation, and one third are even aware of the "European Social Fund" - the main means of using EU funding to invest in workers and job training.