Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., December 8, 2006 — Fueled by a more optimistic outlook on the strength of the economy and number of jobs available, U.S. workers’ confidence hit new highs in November, according to a recent survey of 3,654 adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, climbed 0.9 points to 60.1 in November, the third consecutive monthly increase. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows that 66 percent of workers believe the economy is strengthening or stabilized, compared to 63 percent in October and 29 percent believe more jobs are available, versus 27 percent in October.
While the percentage of workers reporting macroeconomic confidence increased, a higher percentage of workers had a less positive outlook on their own job prospects. Sixteen percent said they have no confidence in their own ability to find a new job, up three percentage points from October. On the other hand, a large majority of workers (79 percent) continued to believe their jobs were secure in November and 38 percent plan to change jobs in the next year, an increase of two percentage points from October.
“Despite the recent economic data that may suggest slower growth in the fourth quarter, our latest report shows that more workers are feeling confident about both the job market and the economic situation in general,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. “While this may be surprising to some, I believe that our data provides an accurate picture of the mood of American workers -- which is greatly affected by their personal situations and those of their family and friends.”
Krause continued, “This shows me that, in general, workers are feeling better about the current environment. Unemployment remains very low, new jobs are being created on a regular basis and many feel the economic situation is stable or getting better. Trends in our recruiting and staffing business have also supported this positive sentiment. We see employers in a wide range of industries continuing to add to their workforces, pay rates beginning to increase and more competition for skilled workers.”
Results from the November Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Percentage of Workers Reporting Overall Confidence Hits All-Time High
Rising for the third consecutive month and to its highest level since the Index was created in July 2004, the Employee Confidence Index was 60.1 in November. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, primarily increased because more workers were upbeat about the strength of the economy and availability of jobs. The Index is 3.2 points higher than the level recorded in November 2005.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Reaches Record Level: The Macroeconomic Confidence Index was 46.1 in November, increasing for the third consecutive month and reaching its highest level since the survey started in July 2004. The increase was a result of more workers having optimism in the strength of the economy and job availability. The Index level is 5.8 points higher than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- Only 35 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that fewer jobs are available, down three percentage points from October.
- 26 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 24 percent in October.
Personal Confidence Index Virtually Unchanged: The Personal Confidence Index was relatively unchanged at 74 in November, a 0.2-point drop from October as the percentage of workers that are not confident in their ability to find a new job increased by three percentage points. The percentage of workers optimistic in the future of their current employer remained the same. The Index is 0.5 points higher than the level recorded in November 2005.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 64 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their employer, showing no change from October.
- 16 percent of U.S. adult workers have no confidence in their own ability to find a new job, up three percentage points from October.
Job Security Index: Workers’ Confidence in Job Security Virtually Unchanged
79 percent of the U.S. workforce believes that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, virtually unchanged from October. The Job Security Index is at the same level reported one year ago.
Job Transition Index: More Workers Planning to Job Search
Rebounding to its highest level since May, the Job Transition Index rose two percentage points to 38 percent in November. The Index is at the same level reported in November 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 November 2006 Spherion Employment Report is based on data from the Harris Interactive QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 3,654 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between November 7-9 and November 15 and -17, 2006 (for October 2006 n=3,112). 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 3,654 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2 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.