Interest rate increases make more workers fear for job security

A rise in interest rates has heightened fears over job security, research has found.

A survey conducted by Lloyds TSB, questioning 2,000 adults, found that less than two in 10 respondents felt more secure in work than they did a year ago. Half said they felt the same, while 22% said they felt less secure.

The bank’s consumer barometer has been carried out since November 2004 and the latest finding of 18%, also reported in June 2006, represents the lowest figure since the survey began.

Almost one-third said employment prospects in the UK in general were worse than 12 months ago, against 15% who felt the opposite.

Lloyds also found that four out of five respondents believed that interest rates would increase over the next year.

Trevor Williams, chief economist at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, said: “Consumers have been holding their breath waiting for another interest rate rise and the majority obviously see it as a fait accompli.

“However, the combination of interest rate hikes and consumers’ correct expectation that prices are on the rise means the spectre of unemployment is now beginning to weigh more heavily on respondents,” he added.

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