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Nearly One in Five US Workers Expects to Lose Job in 2012

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If the attitude of American workers is any indication, the job market is still a long way from recovering. Almost one in five Americans recently surveyed believe they will lose their job in 2012 and another 48 percent expect their employers to cut their benefits in 2012.

With that in mind, nearly a quarter (24 percent) said they are willing to work longer hours and lose benefits in order to keep their current jobs .

"With the continued ups and downs of the economy… workers report very mixed expectations for 2012," said Joanie Ruge, senior vice president and chief employment analyst for Randstad, the global human resources service company that conducted the survey. "We're seeing about half of the workers surveyed are very positive about their companies and even their current jobs, but the other half are very nervous about maintaining their employment and benefits. Workers are indicating that they are uncertain about the new year and many are taking precautions such as cutting back on expenses and putting more towards savings just in case."

Even most employees who think they will keep their jobs said they doubt they will get a promotion in 2012. In fact, 76 percent believe it very unlikely they will get a promotion.

Despite these seemingly discouraging statistics, a majority of workers are happy in their jobs, with 78 percent feeling inspired to do their best at work. Additionally, 69 percent of workers enjoy going to work every day and 64 percent feel their efforts at work are recognized.

However, given the chance, almost half (47 percent) say they would take a better job if it came along. Forty-six percent expect the job market to improve in the new year.

"Employers need to pay close attention to changes in their employee populations of the very engaged and the least engaged," said Ruge. "Companies want to successfully engage as many employees as possible to maximize productivity, and they need to particularly focus on those workers who are most engaged and, thus, most valuable. This is a serious threat to employers as the economy recovers and as more jobs become available. Companies will need to watch this as we move into 2012."

The Randstad Employee Attachment Index polled more than 1,100 employers and 7,000 employees.