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COUNTRY survey: Americans optimistic about their job security

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Four years after the financial meltdown and the subsequent Great Recession, Americans are feeling increasingly more secure about their employment heading into the 2012 election season.

COUNTRY Financial released the findings in a recent survey, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index. The survey found that 79 percent of Americans say that they are not likely to lose their jobs in the next 90 days, a nine-point improvement from the pinnacle of the recession in 2009.

The 18 percent that are still distressed over the prospect of becoming unemployed feel that they are at the whim of the economy as well as government policy.

Americans overall are conflicted as to what has the greatest impact on them keeping their jobs. Thirty-four percent reported that it was their personal skill and job performance; 26 percent point to the economy and governmental policy and 24 percent report that their employment is dependent upon their respective company’s performance.

Respondents who cite their personal performance or that of their company are more optimistic than those who cite national influences.

What could perhaps be a ramification of the uncertainty that has gripped employees over the last four years, 56 percent of respondents admit that there is a possibility of job loss and say that creating an emergency savings fund is a priority. Fifty-three percent say that they would need at least six months salary if they were to lose their job which is in line with the current length of unemployment at ten months.

The Survey found that those in the $20,000 to $40,000 age bracket were especially concerned about their job security. Thirty percent of those in that income bracket say that it is likely that they could lose their job in the next 90 days. Interestingly, less than 50 percent of them prioritize creating a savings fund. Additionally, only 19 percent of them expect to earn more money a year from now. “Given so few expect a salary increase, Americans in this income bracket might understandably be finding it hard to prioritize emergency savings. However, when it comes to job security, it’s crucial to have a financial cushion,” said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at COUNTRY Financial.