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People feel ‘safer in their jobs and happier about life’

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UK consumers feel more secure in their jobs than they have done for 18 months, according to the Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets Consumer Barometer.

In February, 22% of those polled said that their job security had improved on a year earlier, up from 20% in January. And, as personal job fears eased, people felt more optimistic about general UK employment prospects.

“I suppose these things are subjective but I am feeling pretty positive about my job,” said 45-year-old bank worker Peter Morris. “There were rumours that our office was going to be shut last year but fortunately these were unfounded and things are looking good just now.”

However, these optimistic feelings were not echoed by everyone. “Our light engineering firm in Essex shut down just before Christmas and I haven’t worked since,” said Michael Forbes, 35.

“Polls that tell you that everyone is happy and the situation is good are probably asking only one sort of person – that is, people with safe jobs.”

Despite Forbes’ scepticism, Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets stood by its cheerful prognosis. Trevor Williams, chief economist, said: “On the back of continuing solid economic growth, consumers are regaining confidence in the security of their jobs and the UK employment market in general.

“The number of people claiming jobless benefits is down by 34,000 in the past four months and the unemployment rate is back at 2.9% and could fall further.”

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