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Workers Fear Economy More Than Terrorism

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NU Online News Service, Aug. 26, 5:15 p.m. – Far more workers are worrying about the economy than about past or future acts of terrorism, according to results of a new survey by KRC Research & Consulting, Washington.

When KRC researchers interviewed 750 employees over age 18 in July for CIGNA Behavioral Health, Eden Prairie, a unit of CIGNA Corp., they found that 44% of employees said their jobs were more stressful now than a year ago.

Only 5% of the participants said ongoing threats of terrorist attacks were a contributor to stress, and only 8% said the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had contributed to changing their attitudes for the worse.

Instead, 36% blamed their higher stress levels on the reduced value of retirement savings and investments; 40% on heightened distrust of corporate America; 40% on worries about personal job loss; and 51% on the uncertain economy.

When researchers interviewed 200 employers, they found that 57% offered employee assistance programs or other employee support programs, and that 35% of the employers that offer support programs had expanded them in the past year.

Seventy-four percent of the employees whose companies offer workplace support programs called the programs valuable or helpful, CIGNA says.