Today’s economic uncertainty is a universal concern for the global workforce and adds a new dimension to their priorities. Geopolitical instability, a potential global recession and the rising cost of living has more workers anxious about the future. To counter their concerns, workers want financial stability and secure employment.

According to our recent Workmonitor survey, 52 percent of respondents worldwide are concerned about the global economy’s impact on their livelihood and more than a third are worried about losing their job.

92% say job security is important to them
92% say job security is important to them

This makes job security a key insight from our 20th Workmonitor study and top of mind for employees. Organizations that take the time to understand and address this concern will be in better shape to attract and retain top talent. To start, consider a few of the main factors driving these sentiments:

news of layoffs

According to our survey, an overwhelming majority of respondents (86%) feel secure in their current role. This number is up from 2022. However, last year saw a number of high-profile layoffs, notably among white-collar roles at tech companies. In addition, there were staff reductions in the automotive, banking and financial services and e-commerce sectors.

Moving into 2023, while workers may feel secure, weakened consumer demand along with a struggling global supply chain means more companies will look to resize their workforce. For this reason, news of layoffs will continue to raise concern for workers.

While some sectors, such as government, NGOs and small startups do need critical and in-demand skills from qualified candidates, the salary and benefits offered may not stand up to that of larger, established companies in other sectors.

rising cost of living

Cost of living increases make broader economic uncertainty hit close to home for the workforce. What’s more, companies aren’t always compensating for these changes.

Our report shows that 58 percent of respondents did not receive extra financial support during the past six months, and just 10 percent received a one-off cost of living payment.

25% are looking to supplement their regular income
25% are looking to supplement their regular income

As a result, nearly one-quarter of respondents are looking to supplement their regular income, either through a second role or more hours at their current job. While this can be a financial lifeline for employees, it may be a challenge for your organization. In some cases, workers become “overemployed” – holding two full-time positions at once – without the knowledge or consent of their first employer.

the great rotation

The good news is most survey respondents (50.4%) believe that they could quickly find a new job if needed. This number was higher in the U.S. with 56 percent responding favorably.

These results may stem from the “Great Rotation” that took off in the last year. This trend led to an increasing number of employees worldwide looking to make more money, find more meaningful work and/or gain more flexibility through a job change.

However, current market volatility may slow this trend with fewer voluntary turnovers and career mobility in 2023.

age and geography variations

Concerns over job security do vary by generation as well as location. For example, Latin American workers are most concerned about losing their job (60%) while those in Northwestern Europe are least concerned (24%).

Rising costs have 51 percent of workers in India looking for better paying jobs. At the other end of the spectrum, Belgium and Luxembourg have the fewest percentage of workers searching for higher pay at 13 and 14 percent respectively.

Overall, Gen Z workers seem most sensitive to the current market. They are most active in looking for supplemental income and yet feel most confident that they will find it. This could stem from the fact that their generation saw the fastest wage growth in markets like the U.S. in 2022.

2022 median hourly pay rise
2022 median hourly pay rise

help employees feel more secure

With job and financial security a top issue for both employees and their employers in 2023, there are steps you can take to help:


Reassure your employees with open channels of communication. Transparent interactions signal that an organization is empathetic to employee concerns and helps them avoid unnecessary stress.

leverage health and wellness benefits

While inflation remains high, use employee benefits that can ease mental and financial stress. Assistance programs and financial advisors can offer support both for immediate needs and for future planning.

practice compassionate cost-saving

Don’t forget that cost-saving measures such as layoffs and salary reductions affect livelihoods. Be sure to clearly explain any changes and plan to support those impacted with career transition services and severance.

Today’s uncertain economic conditions have workers around the world wary of the future. Create a culture that supports your employees and keep great talent. To find out more about what matters to the global workforce, get our 2023 Workmonitor report here.