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Falling Value of the Pound and Automation Revealed as Workers’ Top Concerns

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Workers are more worried about losing their jobs to machines or due to the falling value of the pound, than immigration and globalisation, according to new findings from Indeed, the world’s largest job site.

The Indeed Employment Election 2017 study details the changes workers feel most
threaten job security in the UK.

Top 6 threats ranked by UK workers in the order of importance:

  1.    The falling value of the pound
  2.    Automation
  3.    Outsourcing
  4.    Brexit
  5.    Globalisation
  6.    Immigration
  7.    Changes to the benefits system

Despite immigration policies taking centre ground in the lead up to the General Election, when it comes to job security, workers see the impact of automation in the workplace and the falling value of the pound as having the most negative impacts on UK jobs. Immigration comes in sixth as a threat to job security.

Brexit is also outside of the top three worries. Nonetheless, it is viewed as a net threat to jobs – less than a third think that the process of the UK leaving the European Union is likely to drive
employment, compared to almost half who think it will have the opposite effect on the jobs market.

With the latest ONS figures revealing a fall in net migration to the UK, Indeed’s findings show that workers are more worried about their jobs being exported than being replaced.

Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at global job site, Indeed, comments:

“Workers have identified the threat of automation, even if politicians have largely ignored it. In the run-up to the election we have seen campaigns focused on issues such as Brexit, immigration and tax.
“However, these results show that the average worker is much more unnerved by the prospect of being replaced by a machine and companies moving jobs abroad, rather than competition from immigration. With net migration to the UK falling in 2016, workers are perhaps ahead of the politicians here.

“While automation and globalisation are a threat to some jobs, they also underpin overall economic growth. These are labour market shifts that have an uneven impact on workers and regions, and politicians should demonstrate long-term thinking on jobs and employment in order to tip the balance in favour of the workers who will be hardest hit.”

“Disappearing jobs can be a frightening concept and it’s impossible to know exactly which jobs are ‘safe’ — but everyone can prepare for the future by building up transferable, non-routine skills that can be applied across a wide array of occupations.”

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