Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., October 6, 2006 — After a sharp decline in August, the confidence of U.S. workers hit its highest level since May 2006. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, increased 2.8 points to 58.5 in September. This gain is the largest month-over-month increase in worker confidence since between October 2005 and November 2005 when the Index also climbed 2.8 points after the fallout from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Significant increases in both macroeconomic and personal confidence propelled the Index in September. The survey of 3,071 U.S working adults, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows that more workers were confident in their ability to find a new job and in the strength of the economy and job market.
Specifically, 59 percent of workers believe the economy is strengthening or stabilized, compared to 54 percent in August and 61 percent say they are confident in their ability to find a new job, up four percentage points from the previous month.
The increase in overall confidence in September did little to change workers’ perceptions about their current job security or their likelihood to change jobs. Seventy-nine percent reported that it was unlikely that they would lose their job in the next 12 months, showing no change from the previous two months. In addition, 36 percent of workers plan to find a new job in the next year, a one percentage point increase from August.
“I believe the most notable statistic from this month’s report is that personal confidence increased as much as it did,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. “The jump in macroeconomic confidence isn’t all that surprising given falling energy prices and steady economic growth, but the substantial rise of an already high level of personal confidence is more telling and indicates that workers are certainly feeling more at ease about their overall situation.”
Krause continued, “With a low unemployment rate, higher personal earnings and continued job creation, workers have good reason to be confident about their prospects. As a result of this confidence and current labor market trends, we are advising employers to move more quickly in their recruiting efforts and focus on retaining key talent.”
Results from the September Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Workers’ Confidence Rebounds
The Employee Confidence Index was 58.5 in September, rising 2.8 points from August. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment increased as a result of more workers reporting optimism in the economy and their personal prospects. The Index is 4.3 points higher than the level recorded in September 2005.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Increases: The Macroeconomic Confidence Index climbed to 41.7 in September, a 3.5-point rise from August, as more workers were optimistic about the strength of the economy and availability of jobs. The Index level is 7.3 points higher than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
38 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that fewer jobs are available, down four percentage points from August.
21 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 18 percent in the previous month.
Personal Confidence Index Hits 2006 High: Reaching its highest level in the past year, the Personal Confidence Index was 75.4 in September, increasing 2.2 points from August. This increase was a result of more workers having confidence in the future of their employers and their ability to find a new job. The Index level is 1.3 points higher than in September 2005.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
65 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their employer, increasing two percentage points from August.
61 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, compared to 57 percent in the previous month.
Job Security Index: Workers’ Confidence in Job Security Remains Unchanged
For the third consecutive month, 79 percent of the U.S. workforce indicates that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next year. The Job Security Index is at the same level as a year ago.
Job Transition Index: Nearly 40 Percent of Workers Planning to Job Search
36 percent of U.S. workers said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, a one percentage point increase from August. The Index is two percentage points higher than the level reported in September 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 September 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 3,071 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between September 5-7 and September 11-13, 2006 (for August 2006 n=3,188). 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 3,071 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.