PAM’S survey: Confidence of facilities service sector employees in improved personal economy has plummeted – Still trust in growth of employer companies
The economic barometer of Service Union United PAM reveals that one in four employees in the service sector expects that their financial situation will weaken within the year. The respondents of the questionnaire think that the employer companies enjoy a solid financial situation, and there is more growth in the horizon. However, this does not relieve the employees’ concern for their own livelihood.
Service Union United PAM has published its quarterly economic barometer which analyses the employees’ views on the economic situation in the sector. During the past three months, the service sector employees have become increasingly concerned for their own finances.
One in four respondents (26%) expects that their economic situation will continue to deteriorate during the coming 12 months.
– The change in the outlook is dramatic in the facilities service sector. Only three months ago, 34% of the respondents – employees in the sector – believed that their situation is improving. Today, that percentage is half of that, or 17%, PAM’s Chief Economist Olli Toivanen comments on the results.
The recent consumer barometer of Statistics Finland showed that only 8% of all Finns feared that their economic situation would worsen during the year to come.
– Compared to this, the employees in the service sector view of the future is gloomier than the average, Toivanen points out.
In fact, the respondents of the questionnaire see much brighter prospects for the employer companies; 28% of the respondents think that the employer's finances have improved during the past three months while 13% find that the trend has been negative. Looking at the year to come, as many as 36% of the respondent expect improved performance of the employer companies while only 10% think that the outlook is poor.
Although the employees are worried about their wages that are not adequate to make a living, an increasing number of employees feel that their job is relatively permanent.
– Almost half of the respondents (48%) have no fear of unemployment. Last year, the corresponding number was 34%. Although people feel that their job is secure, they remained concerned about the wages that are not enough to live on, Toivanen adds.
He suspects that one reason for the apprehension about the insufficient living wages is that these employees are not offered enough working hours.
– As a whole, we are faced with the fact that the earnings have not followed the increasing trend in the cost of living, Toivanen points out.
For the first time, the questionnaire asked the respondents to estimate how long it would take them to find a new job if they were left jobless at this moment.
– Almost one in five respondents (19%) thought that they would not find any work if the current contract were to terminate. However, there is considerable variation between the sectors. Only 12% of the respondents in tourism and catering believe that their current job will also be their last job, Toivanen says.
In tourism and catering, young people account for a considerably larger share of employees on average, and especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area the labour shortage is desperate. Seen as a whole, the week trust in re-employment in the service sector is a reason for concern.
The information is based on a questionnaire which PAM had made between 11 and 24 January 2017. The number of PAM member respondents was 336. Of them, 91% were employed and 5% were unemployed. PAM publishes its economic barometer on a quarterly basis.