No matter your current job or whether you work full-time, part-time or on a casual basis, the changing face of employment is impacting our financial wellbeing.
If you’re struggling to get ahead financially, you’re not alone. The latest Household Financial Comfort Report (HFCR) from ME shows financial wellbeing deteriorated among Australian households in the six months to June 2016.
Not only do more of us feel vulnerable to income shocks brought on by lost jobs and wage cuts, many workers are also dealing with reduced working hours, leading to worries about managing household debt. In fact, 90% of Australian households have concerns about their financial wellbeing, with only one in ten reporting a high level of financial comfort.
Casual workers are doing it tough
Some of us are doing it tougher than others, with some of the biggest financial challenges faced by casual and part-time workers.
The last 18 months have seen falling levels of financial confidence among casual workers – driven by concerns about personal savings, the ability to cope with financial emergencies, and low levels of retirement savings. Casual and part-time employees also report concerns around job availability and job security. As one survey respondent, a part-time worker, noted: “My biggest worry is losing my job”.
The workforce is changing
It all comes at a time when the employment landscape is undergoing rapid change. The growth of computerisation and automation could see more than five million jobs – almost 40% of the jobs that exist today – disappear in the next 10 to 15 years.*
None of us like to think we will be replaced by a machine, but already we have seen automation replace jobs in areas like agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
Where to from here?
No one knows exactly what the future holds. However, the CSIRO recently identified some of the big workforce trends we can expect in the future:** jobs in large organisations may be harder to come by and more of us will need to create our own job and embrace self-employment.
As life expectancy rises, retirement ages are likely to push back further and chances are we will be working with more diverse age groups. Importantly, as automated systems take over certain skilled tasks, having a strong skill set matters – especially when it comes to the use of technology.
The value of investing in yourself
So where do the jobs of the future lie? The CSIRO believes the growth of employment in the service industries – like education and healthcare, which have driven job creation in recent times – is likely to continue.
The bottom line is that the days of having the same job – or even the same career – for life are over. Investing in your own skills through education, training, and even re-training could be the factor that helps your household maintain financial confidence over the long term.
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*Australia’s Future Workforce? CEDA, June 2015 http://www.ceda.com.au/research-and-policy/policy-priorities/workforce
**Tomorrow’s digitally enhanced workforce, CSIRO, Feb 2016, http://www.csiro.au/en/Research/D61/Areas/Data-for-decisions/Strategic-Foresight/Tomorrows-Digitally-Enabled-Workforce