Illawarra survey reveals workers' fears

Miners in the Illawarra really like their job - but they doubt they'll be doing it for much longer.

That is one of the findings of an Illawarra Regional Information Service (IRIS) survey into job security and job satisfaction in the Illawarra.

The survey of 500 households in the Illawarra ranked both job security and job satisfaction from 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor.

Workers in the mining industry were the least secure about their jobs, ranked at 1.55 - the next lowest were retail workers at 3.08.

However, miners also ranked highest for job satisfaction - at 3.75.

"It just goes to show that they like what they're doing," IRIS executive director Simon Pomfret said. "But they understand what's happening in the industry-wide picture and they know there's problems out there for the workforce in the mining sector."

In terms of job security, professional, finance and technical workers felt the safest with a 3.92 ranking, followed by food services (3.82) and health care (3.47).

Aside from miners, other industries where job satisfaction was high were transport and utilities, professional, finance and technical, and education and training.

Across all sectors, the survey found that part-time workers were more likely than full-timers to feel insecure about their jobs.

Nearly twice as many part-timers rated their job security as "poor" - 4.2 per cent, compared to 7.9 per cent of full-timers.

The survey also found that just over two-thirds of respondents felt good or better about their level of job security.

Mr Pomfret said this was due to the fact that the unstable mining and manufacturing sectors were a small proportion of the Illawarra workforce and the security reflected the increasing dominance of the services sector, which included health care.

He also said it provided a counter-balance to negative perceptions of the regional economy.

"We're always hearing negative stories about high unemployment rates and job losses here and there and subdued confidence from the business and consumer sectors," Mr Pomfret said.

"But this is a positive, so it's not all doom and gloom out there about how people feel about their employment."