Nearly one in six (58%) jobseekers feel economic or social conditions could hurt their job prospects next year, according to research from job site Indeed.
Apprehension was found to be highest among those aged 25 to 34, two-thirds of whom (67%) feared that finding a job in 2017 will become harder. Two-fifths (39.3%) of all respondents felt the jobs market has shrunk since the Brexit referendum and a third (35.6%) felt their job prospects will worsen once the UK leaves the EU.
Many of those looking for work were aiming for stability. The research found that 54.3% cited job security as a motivation for job hunting, just ahead of the 53.8% who prioritised job location and the 50.2% who identified flexible working as a key factor. By contrast just 18.9% cited salary.
While 51.8% felt optimistic about their chances of finding a good job in 2017 (rising to 59.5% among those aged under 25), a worrying 14.8% of people aged over 55, and 10.1% aged 45 to 54 worry they will never get a new job.
Bill Richards, UK managing director at Indeed, confirmed employees value stability in an uncertain climate.
“Our research reveals that many jobseekers are anxious about what 2017 has in store,” he said. “Job security often features on employees’ wish lists, but for it to emerge as such a dominant factor shows a craving for security and safety that is the emotional response to economic and political uncertainty.
“Parallel research by Indeed in the US and continental Europe showed jobseekers there share Britons’ concerns about the impact of economic turbulence and falling employer demand on their job prospects.
“But it’s striking that in the UK fewer than 7% of those polled identified automation as a threat – compared with almost one in five in France (19%) – which is likely to be a benefit of the UK’s service-led economy.”