American workers are more concerned about cuts in their benefits than losing their jobs, according to a Gallup poll released today.

Forty percent of workers surveyed August 9-12 said they are concerned that their benefits will be reduced in the near future. That compares to 28% who fear they will be laid off and 28% who worry their salaries will be lowered.

Gallup’s annual Work and Education poll also showed that 26% of the respondents worry that their hours would be reduced, and 9% are concerned that their job would be moved overseas.

“U.S. workers feel their benefits are most at risk, which may be the first place employers seek to cut back during difficult economic times. And workers may be willing to accept such cuts over more severe measures like pay cuts or layoffs,” Gallup stated.

Looking at the results according to education level of respondents, Gallup found that a larger number of non-college graduates (42%) were concerned about losing their benefits than college graduates (36%).

Gallup has conducted the Work and Education poll each year since 2003. Last year, the results were similar: 44% said they worried about benefits cuts, 33% feared a reduction in wages and 30% were concerned about losing their job.

“Though worry about each of the possible job events is two to five percentage points lower than in the 2011 survey, the changes are not large enough from a statistical perspective to definitively conclude that fewer workers are worried now than last year,” Gallup indicates.

The survey was a random sample of 492 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, who are employed full-time or part-time.

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