Sep 10, 2019 - Economy

Americans' fear of losing their jobs grows

Two separate surveys released on Monday showed an increase in the percentage of Americans worried about losing their jobs.

The big picture: The surveys follow a worrisome trend in corporate downsizing that has been playing out for much of the year and picked up in August.

What they're saying:

  • The New York Fed's consumer credit report found worries about losing a job over the next year increased for the second month in a row to an average 14.2% in August from 13.8% in July. Respondents also said they expect their earnings to grow more slowly over the next year.
  • Fannie Mae's Housing Purchase Sentiment Index also showed the number of Americans concerned about losing their job increased and the net share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job over the next 12 months dropped 4 percentage points.

Yes, but: The increases were minor, with both the New York Fed and Fannie Mae job loss expectation numbers falling well within the typical range of responses over the past few years.

Reality check: U.S. companies did ramp up the pace of job cuts last month, data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows, with firms announcing plans to axe 53,480 jobs. That a 38% increase from July's total.

  • Job cuts have been higher every month this year than the corresponding months in 2018, and last month’s job cuts were the highest August total since 2009, per the report.
  • A separate Challenger report found that through July, companies have announced 42,937 job cuts due to bankruptcy — 40% higher than the number announced for this reason through July 2018 and 19% higher than the number of bankruptcy-related job cuts announced through all of 2018.

Go deeper: The U.S. jobs market is starting to worry economists

Go deeper