NU Online News Service, Aug. 21, 10:06 a.m. – U.S. workers may be starting to lose patience with the stock market.

Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, says members of the employer-sponsored retirement plans it sponsors showed their faith in stocks in the first half of the year by putting 73% of their new 401(k) contributions in stocks.

But 28% of the 1,200 workers who participated in the third quarterly Principal Financial Well-Being Index survey told researchers they had responded to the recent stock market slump by shifting a portion of their investments to what they believed to be more stable choices, up from 14% three months earlier.

Harris Interactive Inc., Rochester, N.Y., conducted the survey by polling 1,200 employees of U.S. businesses with 10 to 1,000 employees in June.

Harris researchers found that workers seemed to be more interested in their long-term financial future in June than they were just nine months earlier: 44% of the participants in the latest survey ranked their “long-term financial future” as the most important economic issue they faced, and 44% ranked job security as the most important issue.

When Harris conducted the first two surveys, workers ranked job security ahead of long-term financial security.

Despite the new interest in long-term financial security, 34% of the participants admitted they had not started to plan for retirement, up from 27% three months earlier.