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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Prepared for the worst

SINGAPOREANS are preparing for the worst, with one in three expecting to lose their jobs during this downturn.

A poll by TNS and Gallup International found that workers' confidence have been dented by the global financial crisis.

Almost eight in 10 Singaporeans believe unemployment will rise this year as the country's economy decreases, with GDP expected to be fall anywhere between -2 per cent and 1 per cent this year (09).

The global poll was conducted between October and December last year, interviewing 45,700 people in 46 countries.

In Singapore, where 1,000 people were polled, expectations seems more bleak.

Almost two in three Singaporeans say this year will be worse for them than last year, compared with a global average of 35 per cent who feel the same way.

Commenting on the results, Mr Wage Garland, managing director of TNS in Singapore and Hong Kong said such pessimisms follows the bad news and views expressed by leaders and business organisations which are carried in the media.

'Media reports of these types of forecasts, the financial difficulties of several major local retailers, falling property prices, and the layoffs already taking place in some companies have made people realise that the global economic turmoil is having an impact on Singapore,' he said.

But what is surprising, he added, is that it has yet to undermine their confidence about their own personal future.

Despite the gloomy forecast, seven in 10 working Singaporeans are confident of keeping their jobs even though most believe more will be jobless.

This means those polled generally do not think they will be the ones affected.

It reflects a global trend in which 66 per cent of working respondents worldwide believe unemployment is set to rise, yet only 27 per cent are concerned that they will lose their jobs.

But should they lose their job, almost eight in 10 Singaporeans fear it would take a long time to find a new one. In this instance, Singaporeans are more pessimistic than others, with the global figure standing at 54 per cent.

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