Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., January 5, 2007 — Despite a small dip in December, the confidence level of U.S. workers ended the year at a slightly higher level than when it began, according to a recent survey of 3,927 working adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, declined 0.7 points to 59.4 in December. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), reveals that fewer workers were confident in both the job market and the strength of the economy. Twenty-six percent of workers believe there were more jobs available in December compared to 29 percent in November. Furthermore, 24 percent believe the economy is strengthening, a decline of two percentage points.
Even though fewer workers are optimistic about the current economic climate, more were confident about the future of their current employers going into 2007 (66 percent in December reported confidence versus 64 percent in November). Seventy-nine percent also remain confident about their own job security in 2007. Slightly fewer workers were planning to look for a job in 2007 (35 percent in December compared to 38 percent in November).
“Looking back at 2006, it certainly was a good year for job seekers of all skills and levels. For the third straight year the economy created a very healthy number of jobs in a wide variety of industries across the United States,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. “Throughout 2006, we saw that the majority of workers thought the job market was headed in the right direction and many had confidence in their own personal prospects. And why shouldn’t they be? Workers are enjoying higher wages and new opportunities to choose the next step in their careers.”
“I anticipate that job creation in 2007 will be similar to what we experienced over the past several years. It won’t be explosive growth like we saw in the late nineties, but it will be broad-based and steady. For employers, finding skilled talent for open positions will become even more difficult in 2007 and those that focused on adopting emergent and progressive management styles will be in the best position to compete.”
Results from the December Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Percentage of Workers Reporting Confidence Dips Slightly
After rising for three consecutive months, the Employee Confidence Index declined 0.7 points to 59.4 in December. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, decreased because fewer workers had confidence in the job market and economy. The Index is 0.2 points higher than the level recorded in December 2005.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Decreases: The Macroeconomic Confidence Index was 44.4 in December, decreasing 1.7 points from November. The decline was a result of fewer workers having optimism in the strength of the economy and job availability. The Index level is 1.2 points higher than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 26 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, down three percentage points from November.
- Nearly one quarter (24 percent) of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 26 percent in November.
Personal Confidence Index Rises Slightly: The Personal Confidence Index increased slightly to 74.3 in December, a 0.3-point increase from November as more workers were confident in the future of their employer. The percentage of workers who feel confident in their ability to find a new job slipped to 58 percent, a three-percentage-point drop from the previous month. The Index is 0.9 points higher than the level recorded in December 2005.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 66 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their employer, increasing two percentage points from November.
- 58 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, down three percentage points from November.
Job Security Index: Workers’ Confidence in Job Security Unchanged
For the second consecutive month, 79 percent of the U.S. workforce believes that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next twelve months. The Job Security Index is one point higher than reported one year ago.
Job Transition Index: Percentage of Workers Planning to Job Search Declines
The Job Transition Index declined three percentage points to 35 percent. The Index is two percentage points lower than the level reported in December 2005.
About the Spherion Employment Report
As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, the monthly Spherion Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends across the country and is issued in conjunction with state and national labor market releases. Three key indices are measured: the Spherion Job Security Index, which captures how likely respondents think it is that they will lose their job or that their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months; the Spherion Job Transition Index, which captures how likely respondents are to look for a new job in the next 12 months; and the Employee Confidence Index, which measures employees’ overall confidence in the economy, the future of their employer, the availability of jobs, and their ability to find other employment. The Employee Confidence Index is based on these four components, with a ‘score’ calculated for each by taking the difference of the percentage of positive responses and the percentage of negative responses. These four scores are then averaged to indicate an overall level of employee confidence scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
The December 2006 Spherion Employment Report is based on data from a Harris Interactive QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 3,927 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between December 6-8 and December 11-13, 2006 (for November 2006 n=3,654). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents’ propensity to be online.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 3,927 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- two percentage points. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.
With approximately 650 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America’s largest employers. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com. For up-to-date career tips and trends, visit Spherion’s career blog, The Big TimeSM, at www.spherion.com/careerblog.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR.