Workers are being "haunted" by the fear of redundancy and the state of British industry, according to a new report.
The number of UK manufacturing jobs is at a record low
A survey of 500 workers found that concerns over job security were top of the list - far exceeding concerns about pay or long working hours.
One-in-three respondents to the survey by recruitment firm Pertemps were worried about losing their jobs.
Redundancy concerns were greatest in the North East of England, with workers in the South more optimistic about their prospects.
And two-thirds of workers based in Cambridge's silicon valley voiced fears for
The report was published on Tuesday, ahead of new unemployment figures expected to show that more jobs have been lost in manufacturing.
More than 10% of those questioned said they would consider retirement if
their job was axed.
Janet McGlaughlin, a director of Pertemps, said: "Sadly, the tough economic
climate means that redundancy is at the forefront of many workers' minds at the moment.
"If you feel your job may be at risk, it's important to plan for the worst case scenario at an early stage.
"Try to cut back on spending and build up a cash reserve - on top of any
severance payment, this will give you the financial breathing space to find
"While it may be scant consolation at the time, remember that redundancy can
be a significant opportunity to reassess your career.
"Our research has found that many would use redundancy to make a positive
change in their life - for instance, retraining for a new career or starting a
"Having this positive outlook is essential if you want to use redundancy
as a springboard to better things."