[Begin VIDEO with Kristin Arnold, Bankrate.com anchor introducing the video topic]
Intro: Much of the hope for a strong holiday sales season revolves around whether consumers are feeling financially confident enough to spend. Here with a look at this month's Bankrate.com Financial Security Index is Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
[Cut to a double screen of Kristin Arnold and Greg McBride]
Kristin: How are consumers feeling about their financial security this month?
Greg: We saw a nice pick-up this month. Consumer's feelings of financial security rebounded to the highest levels since June. We saw improvement in every component, but particularly in the areas of job security and comfort level with savings.
Kristin: Did the drop in the unemployment rate contribute to an improved sense of job security? And where do we stand on savings now?
Greg: The drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent certainly played a part. The release of the monthly jobs report coincided with the timing of when the poll was conducted. The percentage of people who say they are less secure in their jobs now dropped from 28 percent down to 18 percent. And nearly two out of three say their job security is the same now as it was 12 months ago ... and that's the highest since we started polling a year ago. Now, on the saving front, despite the improvement we saw in December ... the number of people that are less comfortable with their savings still outnumber those who are comfortable by a margin of 3 to 1.
Kristin: How do consumers stack up at the end of 2011 compared to the beginning of 2011?
Greg: 2011 was not a year of progress in terms of consumer's financial security, despite the improvement we saw in the month of December. Every component, job security, savings, debt, net worth and overall financial situation -- ended the year lower than where we started the year back in January.
Kristin's close: To see more of this month's poll, visit Bankrate.com.