Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 6, 2007 -- Economic confidence levels among U.S. workers dipped in March, according to a recent survey of 3,044 working adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, decreased 3.3 points to 57.1 in March. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation, shows that fewer workers believe the economy and job market is strengthening, but also revealed that a majority of workers remained optimistic about their personal employment opportunities.
According to the survey, the percentage of workers who believe the economy is strengthening dropped seven percentage points from 24 percent in February to 17 percent in March. Despite the decline in macroeconomic sentiment, the percentage of workers admitting they didn't feel their jobs were in danger of being eliminated in the next year remained unchanged at 80 percent for the second consecutive month. In addition, more than half (58 percent) were confident in their own ability to find a new job.
"While the economy still looks relatively healthy, recent concerns about continued growth, coupled with rising energy prices and stock market volatility has certainly affected workers' viewpoint on the economy and job market," said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. "Therefore, the dip in confidence is not entirely unexpected, but it's interesting to note that the survey continues to indicate that workers have remained positive about their own job situations. This has held true over the past few years, regardless of economic conditions, showing us that American workers do not necessarily connect short-term macro trends to their personal career decisions."
Results from the March Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Percentage of U.S. Workers Reporting Confidence Dips
The Employee Confidence Index was 57.1 in March, falling 3.3 points from February. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, declined as more workers were less optimistic about the economy, job availability and their personal employment situation. The Index is 1.1 point lower than the level reported in March 2006.
- Macroeconomic Confidence Index Decreases: Worker optimism in the economy dropped to its lowest level recorded in 2007. The Macroeconomic Confidence Index decreased 4.9 points to 41 in March, as worker optimism in job availability and strength of the economy waned. The Index level is 1.1 point lower than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 24 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, down four percentage points from the previous month
- 17 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, decreasing seven percentage points from February
- Personal Confidence Index Falls: The Personal Confidence Index declined 1.7 points to 73.2 in March, as fewer workers were confident in the future of their current employer and their ability to find a new job. The Index is 1.2 point lower than the level recorded in March 2006.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 63 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their current employer, a two-percentage-point drop from February
- 58 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, compared to 60 percent in the previous month
Job Security Index: 80 Percent of Workers Remain Confident in Their Job Security
- For the second consecutive month, 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 two percentage points higher than the level reported one year ago.
Job Transition Index: One of Three Workers Plan to Look for New Jobs
- One out of three (33%) workers is likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. The Index is at the same level reported in March 2006.
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 that measures employees' overall confidence in the economy, their employer and their ability to find other employment. The Employee Confidence Index is calculated from the results of four components that reflect these aspects of employee confidence. For each component item a 'score' is calculated 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, with each score ranking on a scale from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
The March 2007 Spherion Employment Report is based on data from the Harris Interactive QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 3,044 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between March 5 and 7 and March 12 and 14, 2007 (February 2007 n= 4,022). 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 3,044 U.S. employed adults, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results would 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 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 http://www.spherion.com/. For up-to- date career tips and trends, visit Spherion's career blog, The Big Time(SM), at http://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 innovative research, 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 it believes to 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 subsidiaries Novatris in France and MediaTransfer AG in Germany, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/. To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at http://www.harrispollonline.com/.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at http://www.harrispollonline.com/.