Job insecurity causes far-reaching negative outcomes. The fear of job loss damages the health of employees and reduces the productivity of firms. Thus, job insecurity should result in increasing social costs. Analysing representative data from 17 European countries, this paper investigates self-perceived job insecurity. Our multi-level analysis reveals significant cross-country differences in individuals’ perception of job insecurity. This finding is not only driven by social-structural or institutional differences, but the perception of job insecurity is also influenced by nation-specific unobserved characteristics.