Jun 22, 2022 - Economy

Americans' fears of job loss are growing

Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index; Chart: Axios Visuals

Job security jitters are on the rise. And why not? Recession chatter is all over the news (guilty ✋).

The big picture: The job market is still strong, with unemployment at a near-record low 3.6% — but the Federal Reserve wants to drive that up a bit to fight inflation. Workers have gotten the message.

Driving the news: Across all income brackets, the share of workers who fear a loss of employment income over the next month rose in June from the prior month, according to polling from the Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index.

  • In the lower-income group, that’s a reversal from May when job loss expectations trended down.
  • Among those in the higher-income group, the share expecting job loss jumped by more than 5 percentage points — to its highest level in the last year (15.7%).

Worth noting: Especially in the higher-income group, the fears don’t yet line up with reality. The number of higher-income respondents who said they actually lost employment income in the prior four weeks was just 7%, basically unchanged from May.

The bottom line: "I think the feeling is just that something's not right about the economy, and it's starting to spook workers," says Jesse Wheeler, Morning Consult economic analyst.

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