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Job security is the probability that an individual will keep his or her job; a job with a high level of job security is such that a person with the job would have a small chance of becoming unemployed

Trends Affecting Job Security

Typically, government jobs and jobs in education , healthcare and law enforcement are considered very secure while private sector jobs are generally believed to offer lower job security and it usually varies by industry , location, occupation and other factors.

Job security is dependent on the state of a country's economy and prevailing business conditions and it has been found that people have more job security in times of economic expansion and less in times of a recession . Unemployment rate is a good indicator of job security and the state of the economy and is tracked by economist s, government official s, and bank s.

In individual cases, employment contract s, labour law , trade union activity (including collective bargaining ), job performance, the specific job market , and ease of replacement have an effect.

Variation Between Countries

Job security also has different meanings according to the employment laws of each country. A worker in Continental Europe , if asked about his job security, would reply by naming the type of statutory employment contract he has, ranging from temporary (no job security) to indefinite (virtually equivalent to ' tenure ' in US universities but across the whole economy).

In the United States however, which has more flexible labor laws, it refers more to a worker's sense of having stability of maintaining a job resulting from the possession of special skills, seniority , or other valued traits. There are often protection s provided in many collective agreements against unanticipated technical changes.

Job Security in the United States

Job security in the United States depends more upon the economy and business conditions than in most countries because of the capitalist system and the minimal government intervention in businesses. Job security in the United States can vary a lot since the supply and demand for jobs depends on the economy. If the economy is good, companies make more profits and create more jobs, which increases job security. However, in periods of economic slowdown or recession, companies try to cut costs and layoff workers which decreases job security.

In the aftermath of the dot com boom, computer related jobs experienced low job security whereas the situation was just the opposite prior to that. Since 2005 automotive sector jobs have experienced very low job security, and since 2007, real estate and mortgage related jobs have seen a big decrease in job security.

A growing number of American men have dealt with their unemployment and feelings of job insecurity by not returning to work. In 1960 5% of men ages 30–55 were unemployed whereas roughly 13% were unemployed in 2006. [;en=08d251c4a143ae849amp;ei=50889amp;partner=rssnyt9amp;emc=rss] The New York Times attributes a large portion of this to blue collar and professional men refusing to work in jobs that they are overqualified for or don't provide adequate benefits in contrast to their previous jobs. [;en=08d251c4a143ae849amp;ei=50889amp;partner=rssnyt9amp;emc=rss] The increase in Americans starting their own business is partially a reaction to decreased job security.

Immigration and Outsourcing

Due to the relatively low wages that immigrants and foreigners are willing to work for, job security is an issue for workers of low skill jobs (for example, construction and meatpacking) that can be either given to immigrants or outsourced to foreigners. People with these jobs have both lower job security and lower wages due to these outside pressures. Orthodontists, dentists, surgeons, physicians, and trial lawyers are some of the few professions that truly have a sense of job security. Their work cannot be outsourced and illegal immigrants do not put downward pressure on their wages.

The main difference vis-à-vis the United States is the system of indefinite contract s. In most European countries many employees have indefinite contracts which, whilst not guaranteeing a job for life, make it very difficult for the employer to get rid of an employee. Employees who have legally acquired these rights, for example because they have been with a company for two years continuously, can only be dismissed for disciplinary reasons (after a number of formal warnings and subject to independent appeal ) or in the case of a company undergoing restructuring (subject to generous laws on redundancy payments and often with retraining paid for by the company). In Spain, for example, such employees are entitled to 45 days redundancy pay per year worked. The high cost of redundancy payments is in practice what gives employees job security.

Whilst employees who have such legally-binding, indefinite contracts are in the enviable position of knowing that they (and their family) have complete financial security for the rest of their lives, it is important to realise that these obligations work both ways. In some countries such as Germany a company may prevent an employee (whose occupational training they have paid for) from leaving to take up a better post elsewhere until compensation is agreed. Even an employee of a company which is known to be about to fold may find himself compelled to stay with the company until the end even if he is offered work with a different firm.

Every company will have a mix of employees on different types of contract. Indefinite contracts can also exist for seasonal work . These so-called discontinuous contract s mean that a hotel , for example, may dismiss its staff in the autumn, but it must take the same people back on again the following spring.

The proportion of the workforce on indefinite contracts has fallen across Europe in response to increased competition and globalization . Companies may dismiss an employee just before he reaches the two-year mark and then re-hire him as a new employee. Many economists argue that greater labour market flexibility is necessary but jobs which are not backed by an indefinite contract are still poorly-regarded in many European societies, often disparagingly described as "precarious" or " McJobs ", even when the company has good prospects.

In less regulated European economies, such as the United Kingdom , it is much cheaper to sack permanent employees. In Britain, employees are only entitled to a legal minimum of one week's redundancy pay per year worked (one and a half weeks for workers over 40). Instead, private- and public-sector employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed have the right to take the company to an Employment Tribunal in order to be re-instated or to obtain extra compensation. It is not necessary to go through the normal court system .

In all European Union countries an employee retains his existing contractual rights if his company is taken over under the so-called TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) regulations so the years spent working for the old company would count when calculating redundancy payments, etc.

A Job Security Score is a numerical expression of an individual's unemployment risk based on a statistical analysis of a person's individual demographics , such as location, industry, and occupation, as well as external factors, such as technology, outsourcing , and overseas competition, which is captured in macroeconomic data and trends. Job Security Score also represents the creditworthiness of an individual based on their ability-to-pay by predicting an individual's probability of unemployment risk. It is similar to the Credit Score , which represents the creditworthiness of an individual based on their willingness-to-pay by evaluating an individual's probability of paying debts in a timely manner. The Job Security Score is a patent-pending payment risk scoring technology that was first developed by Scorelogix [] , a pioneer in consumer risk analytics.

Job Security Index is a measure of the nation's job security level or unemployment risk, by location, occupation, and industry. Launched in February 2004 and published monthly since January 2006, Scorelogix Job Security Index [] is a snapshot of the nation's job security level.

Scorelogix Job Security Index is based on an analysis of thousands of Job Security Scores for individuals across the nation and represents how global economic factors, internet and computers, international trade and competition, outsourcing , off-shoring, job migration, etc, are impacting the demand and supply of employment , job growth, and job security.

Other Meaning of Job Security

Computer programmers half in jest consider complicated or badly documented software as added "job security" because it would be difficult to replace them with programmers unfamiliar with the software. [cite web|url=|title=Job Security|date=version 4.4.2|work=The Jargon File|accessdate=2008-04-10]

* First Employment Contract (CPE - a French contract which provoked massive protests before being finally repealed)