u.s. workers’ concerns about economy grow mid-year
back to overviewDespite dip in confidence, workers remain personally optimistic about job prospects, future of employers
NEW YORK, 07.02.12 – The latest Randstad US Employee Confidence Index was 51.1 in June, recording its third consecutive decline in overall confidence levels among U.S. workers. Macroeconomic concerns contributed to the continued retreat in overall optimism, as workers' apprehensions about the strength of the economy and job availability increased. While the overall June Index dipped by 2.1 points, it still remains three points higher than this time last year.
Yet, despite greater economic insecurities, employees' perspectives on the availability of jobs and the future of their current employers remain largely unchanged or slightly higher than in January. Most notably, employee confidence in the ability to find a new job is up four points over the January number. In both May and June, 41 percent of respondents expressed confidence in being able to find new employment.
"These first six months of the year have certainly been different than what analysts and economists expected, with less job creation posted in the second quarter,” said Joanie Ruge, SVP & Chief Employment Analyst for Randstad US. “While the economy has unquestionably added jobs at a very modest pace, it is certainly interesting to see that workers remain confident about the stability of their current jobs, employers and ability to find employment. It is clear, however, that the economy and job market are continuing to weigh heavily on the minds of U.S. workers. This sentiment will also likely remain for employers as they look towards the second half of what has proven to be a year of caution. In fact, many expect this mindset to remain as we head closer to the November U.S. presidential election. That said, we continue to see demand in industries like information technology and engineering, as unemployment rates remain low and the demand for skilled workers high. With the more than eight million jobs lost since the start of the financial crisis, roughly 3.8 million have been added back. Job creation will continue to be a top priority as we reach the final few quarters of 2012."
A Look Inside the Report
Employee Confidence Index Down, Still Above Positive Confidence Threshold of 50:
- The Employee Confidence Index was down for the third month in June, registering at 51.1, ending the quarter on a downward trend.
- June overall confidence level remains three points higher than June 2011, and 0.5-points lower than June 2010.
Overall Employees Unsure About Economy, Job Creation:
- In June, just less than a quarter (24 percent) of employees indicate the economy is getting stronger; down from a year high in March of 32 percent.
- During the first six months of the year, on average, half of workers (49 percent) believed fewer jobs were available. Less than one in five (19 percent) believed more jobs were available.
Personal Confidence High, Consistent:
- A majority of workers (61 percent, averaged) over the last six months, indicated that they are confident in the future of their companies.
- Worker confidence in ability to find a new job reached a six-month high in April of 46 percent; in June this number was down five points to 41 percent.
U.S. Workers Remain Secure in Their Positions:
- Employee confidence in their job security has remained above 70 percent over the last four months; job security registered at 71 percent in June 2012.
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad from June 11-13, 2012 among 1,253 employed U.S. adults, aged 18 years and older. The survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education, and region. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among individuals who agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data has been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. As the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
The Randstad US Employee Confidence Index has measured workforce trends across the country since 2004. For more info, contact Lesly Cardec, PR Director via email or 800.422.3819.