Europeans 'Very Concerned' About Job Loss

A third of European workers fear they could lose their jobs in the worst recession since the Second World War, a European Commission survey showed.

BRUSSELS (AP) -- A third of European workers are "very concerned" that they could lose their jobs as the economy experiences the worst recession since the Second World War, according to a European Commission survey published Friday.

Some 32 percent of people with jobs said they feared losing work. More were worried about their partner and nearly half feared that their children would lose their jobs.

European unemployment rates are running at record levels and economists believe many more jobs will yet disappear as companies cut costs to adjust to lower demand and weaker exports. The EU executive forecasts that some 8.5 million jobs will go this year and next year.

Younger workers are suffering more with unemployment running at nearly one in five.

EU spokeswoman Katharina von Schnurbein said many Europeans believe the worst of the recession is still to come. Only 28 percent think the downturn has already peaked.

"People in labor markets that are harder hit are slightly more realistic or less optimistic," she said.

Spaniards were most worried about losing their job or about relatives losing theirs. Spain, which has been badly hurt by the collapse of a housing boom and a slump in tourism, now has the highest jobless rate in the EU, at 17.9 percent in the second quarter.

Von Schnurbein said people in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania -- three Baltic nations where the economy has contracted sharply over the last year -- were most likely to think that the economy could still worsen.

The survey interviewed some 27,000 people face-to-face in all 27 EU nations between May 25 and June 17. It has a margin of error ranging from 1.9 to 3.1 percentage points.

More in Labor