Survey: Nearly half of respondents willing to accept lower wages ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Euros.
Euros. Source: Karin Koppel

According to the results of a survey commissioned by Swedbank's Institute for Finances and conducted by Norstat, 48 percent of respondents would be willing to accept lower wages compared with what they were previously earning.

Some 53 percent of respondents stated they would find an equivalent job within a maximum of three months, Swedbank's Institute for Finance said. By age group, young people between the ages of 20-24 were the most optimistic segment — 72 percent indicated that if they were to lose their current job, they would be able to find an equivalent position within three months.

Altogether 17 percent believed it would take them between 6-12 months to find a new job, while one in ten said that the process would take more than a year.

"Uncertainty is greater among the elderly and residents of small towns," Institute for Finances director Kati Voomets said in a press release. "Residents whose [monthly] net wages total up to €550 as well as unskilled and skilled workers are more optimistic and, by occupation, workers in construction, healthcare, accommodation and the restaurant and catering sector are as well."

Finding a new job may take notably longer than expected, particularly now that unemployment is on the rise, she added.

"In order to be prepared for financial uncertainties, it is important that people find ways to save money and create a cash buffer," Voomets said.

While close to half of survey respondents are willing to accept lower wages, the share thereof was significantly higher — 58 percent — among those earning monthly net wages of €1,21-1,500. 66 percent of managers and 56 percent of office workers and officials also indicated they'd be willing to accept lower wages.

By occupation, the shares of workers willing to accept lower wages were largest in IT at 54 percent, and among public an local government officials at 57 percent.

"Close to one third of workers in service and sales as well as among skilled and unskilled workers are not prepared to accept lower wages," Voomets said. "Lower wages are likewise not an option for those who are optimistic about finding a new and equivalent job within one month."

Altogether 45 percent of participants in the survey said that they would accept a 20 percent wage cut. On average, 19 percent of respondents whose net wages totaled €1,500 or more said they would agree to a 40 percent wage cut.

"Competition is deemed the greatest obstacle to finding a new job, and it is perceived as a much bigger hurdle by women than by men," Voomets noted. "Fear of strong competition is biggest among respondents aged 20-24."

Just over one in ten respondents are earning additional money with their hobbies or other skills, including 16 percent of respondents aged 35-44 and those earning up to €550 per month in net wages, who accounted for 44 percent of all respondents. Workers in real estate, IT, arts and entertainment were engaged the most in earning additional income; the practice was least popular among workers in construction and hospitality services.

Over half of respondents ⁠— 54 percent ⁠— said that they are learning new skills in order to boost their professional and personal competences, 43 percent indicated that they are participating in various lectures, courses or seminars, and 35 percent said they are reading specialized literature.

Commissioned by Swedbank's Institute for Finances, Norstat surveyed 1,004 respondents between the ages of 20-64 last month.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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