Survey: Many Iowans pessimistic about job security


December 8th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average, but that isn’t much comfort to Iowans who are out of a job. Employment analyst Joanie Ruge, says a recent survey finds those who are employed aren’t feeling confident about their job security. Ruge says, “Almost half of the workers surveyed, 48-percent, believe that their companies might be cutting benefits in the new year and also 41-percent believe their companies might lay off some workers.” 

State labor officials say Iowa’s unemployment rate held steady at six-percent in October compared to the national jobless rate at nine-percent. Despite the fears of firings, Ruge says there were signs of optimism in the survey. “This survey shows that 73-percent of workers actually feel very secure in their company and with their jobs,” she says. “This is certainly a great sign to see that number is pretty high.” 

Ruge says there are numerous stable industries in Iowa that are continuing to grow and add employees. “Health care, pharmaceuticals, anything in information technology, engineering, there are job opportunities in these sectors,” Ruge says. “Where we’ve seen more of a struggle has been in automotive over the last few years. The jobs have really gone away from manufacturing even though we have seen some of the jobs come back.” 

Ruge says many people are taking precautions, cutting back on expenses and putting money into savings, just in case a job is lost. For people who are unemployed, she says to stay focused on networking with both your personal and social networks. Make sure you let people know you are looking for work, she adds, as you never know where that next job might appear. 

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)