The latest figures from Legal & General’s Job Security Index show that UK workers’ confidence in their job security has risen to 76%. This is a 4% increase on last year, when confidence levels were shown to be at an Index low of 72% for a six month period from July to December 2013. The only time confidence levels have surpassed this was in October 2012, when the data reached a high of 78%.

This change is being fuelled by a 10% boost in part-time workers’ confidence in their job security, from 66% to 76% between October 2013 and January this year. This dramatic rise means that for the first time since the Index began in January 2012, those working part-time are more confident in their job security than those working full-time. 75% of full-time workers are now confident in their job security compared to 76% of part-time workers.

In line with last year’s trend, male workers are more confident in their job security than female workers. 78% of the men surveyed now say they are confident about their job security, compared with just 73% of women, a confidence gap of 5%.

Despite the overall picture looking more positive, just around 1 in 10, (11%) of UK workers feel optimistic that 2014 will offer increased job opportunities. Younger workers are the most optimistic Those within the 18-24 year old age group, with 28% thinking that 2014 will bring increased job opportunities.

When questioned about their current situation and any job hunting plans they may have, 30% of UK workers said they believe their current job is secure, so are not actively looking for other jobs.

Mark Holweger, Managing Director, (Intermediated) Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd said: “It’s great to see the Job Security Index registering some positive signs for the New Year, with more people feeling confident about their job security than we’ve seen for a six month period. This increase in confidence is very much in line with the most recent Labour Market data released by the Office for National Statistics, which shows that the rate of unemployment in the UK is currently at its lowest level since 2009.*

“However, there is less optimism that 2014 will bring increased job opportunities. This shows that while people feel confident that their current job is more secure, they don’t necessarily feel that there are more or better opportunities available should they lose their current position. This could result in more workers hunkering down in their current roles, rather than risk their job security by moving this year.”

In total, nearly 1 in 5, (17%) of workers say they are worrying about how they will maintain their current standard of living over the next three months, a figure which has remained the same since last quarter. Public sector workers continue to be more worried (18%) about how they will maintain their current standard of living over the next three months than private sector workers (15%).

Despite this significant level of concern, the majority, (70%) of working adults say they do not have any insurance in place which would help them to pay their bills if they were to lose their job tomorrow.