Thousands of workers in Britain's industrial regions such as Wales, the West Midlands and the North ...
Thousands of workers in Britain's industrial regions such as Wales, the West Midlands and the North of England, have poor expectations for the labour market and their local economies even though official statistics suggest the economy is faring better than expected.
One in four workers in each region suffers stress about their long-term job security, with Welsh workers most concerned (27%), according to research conducted as part of Birmingham Midshires' 'Saving Britain 2002' campaign.
There have been a number of high profile job cuts over recent months, even though there has still been high consumer spending, and 164,000 manufacturing jobs has been lost nationally since February 2002, says Birmingham. Yet most people are still not putting money aside or buying the relevant insurance products to protect themselves against redundancy and hardship.
* In Wales: Workers in Wales are the most worried about their employment prospects with over one in four (27%) claiming their biggest worry about life in ten years time is unemployment, followed by 26% who claim being unable to provide for their family is their biggest cause for concern. While certain areas of Wales have benefited from high levels of investment aimed at creating jobs in the region, recent reports of threatened business closures will add to worker concerns. Only a lucky 22% of Welsh workers claim they have no worries at all.
* In Scotland: The fear of unemployment is also the biggest concern for nearly one in five (24%) Scottish workers who have seen recent job cuts in papermaking, fabrics and shipbuilding. Many workers representatives have suggested the recent budget was not 'Scotland friendly' and could lead to further manufacturing job cuts. Like in Wales, concerns about providing for their families went hand in hand with worries about unemployment with 15% of Scots claiming it was their biggest worry for life in the future.
* In the West Midlands: In the West Midlands, which has seen 4,000 people unemployed in the three months to February, over one in five (22%) state unemployment is their biggest worry. closely followed by 20% who are concerned they would not be able to provide for their family. It's not just going without work that worries people in the West Midlands more than one in ten (11%) concerned that they will have to work till their seventies because of a possible pensions crisis.
* In the North: Workers in the North also saw employment rise by 2,000 to 91,000 in the three months to February, leaving more than one in five (21%) workers claiming job losses are their biggest worry about life in the future and 19% worried that they will not be able to provide for their family. Despite a large number concerned about unemployment, 50% of people living in the region claim to live relatively stress free lives with no worries about the future.
* And the rest: It is not just the UK's industrial centres that worry about their jobs. In light of recent cut backs in financial services and media, 18% of Londoners claim their biggest worry about life in the future is becoming unemployed. Despite measures aimed at resuscitating the NHS, nearly one in five (19%) people living in the South East claimed there biggest worry about life in the future is the provision of health care. For a stress free life, the findings suggest the South West is the place to be with more than one in two (55%) claiming to have no worries about life in the future.
Birmingham Midshires asked UK representative sample of 1,000 people a series of questions about their expectations for life in the future.
Tim Hague, head of savings at investment marketing at Birmingham Midshires, says advice sheets and tips are being written over the next few weeks to offer ideas on how to manage spending and save more.
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