Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., November 3, 2006 — Rising for the fourth time in the past six months, confidence among U.S. workers hit its highest level since December 2005. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, increased 0.7 points to 59.2 in October, following a significant 2.8-point jump in September. A rising level of confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy and the availability of new jobs propelled the Index higher despite small declines in the percentage of workers that were confident in personal prospects.
The survey of 3,112 U.S working adults, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows 63 percent of workers believe the economy is strengthening or stabilized, compared to 59 percent in September and 27 percent believe more jobs are available, versus 25 percent in the previous month.
However, slightly fewer workers were confident in their own ability to find a job (59 percent compared to 61 percent) and in the future of their employer (64 percent versus 65 percent). These small drops did not impact workers’ optimism about their job security, which rose one percentage point to 80 percent, the highest level ever recorded. Workers’ intentions to change jobs held steady over the month, with 36 percent saying they planned to change jobs in the next year.
“Our latest report shows that workers have been largely unfazed by the weaker than expected economic expansion over the past few months,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. “I believe the jump in macroeconomic confidence is again largely due to falling energy prices and continued job growth, but with a lot of economic uncertainty and a contentious election ahead of us, I was somewhat surprised the gain was as significant as it was.”
Krause continued, “As today’s jobs report from the Department of Labor shows, we are continuing to see a very favorable employment environment, even though the job market has shown signs of moderating growth. We see steady demand from our clients for both temporary and direct hire positions in a wide variety of industries, which certainly is good news for the 36 percent of workers who plan on making a job change soon.”
Results from the October Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Workers’ Confidence Hits Year High
Matching its highest level recorded in the past year, the Employee Confidence Index was 59.2 in October, reflecting a 0.7-point rise from September. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, increased because more workers were optimistic about the strength of the economy and availability of jobs. The Index is 5.1 points higher than the level recorded in October 2005.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Reaches Annual Record: Reaching its highest level in the past year, the Macroeconomic Confidence Index was 44.1 in October, increasing 2.4 points from September. The increase was a result of more workers having optimism in the strength of the economy and job availability. The Index level is 8.1 points higher than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 27 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, up two percentage points from September.
- 24 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, increasing three percentage points from September.
Personal Confidence Index Decreases: The Personal Confidence Index was 74.2 in October, a 1.2-point drop from September as fewer workers were confident in their ability to find a new job. The Index is two points higher than the level recorded in October 2005.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 64 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their employer, compared to 65 percent in September.
- 59 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, down two percentage points from the previous month.
Job Security Index: Workers’ Confidence in Job Security Reaches Highest Level Recorded
Rising to the highest level recorded, 80 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 three percentage points higher than one year ago.
Job Transition Index: Percentage of Workers Planning to Job Search Unchanged
For the second consecutive month, the Job Transition Index remained at 36 percent. The Index is three percentage points lower than the level reported in October 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 October 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 3,112 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between October 3-5 and October 9-11, 2006 (for September 2006 n=3,071). 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 3,112 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.