Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., August 4, 2006 — In the midst of concerns about inflation, higher energy prices and geopolitical instability, more U.S. workers were confident in the macroeconomic environment and optimistic about their personal job situation in July. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, increased 1.1 points to 57.8, a level that is 0.4 points higher than a year ago. The recent survey of 2,836 employed adults in the U.S., conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows that 23 percent of workers believe the economy is getting stronger (an increase of four percentage points from June) and 57 percent are confident in their ability to find a new job, up one percentage point from June.
In addition, slightly more workers were confident in the security of their jobs in July. Seventy-nine percent of U.S. workers surveyed said that they were confident their jobs would not be eliminated in the next year, the highest level recorded in 2006. Workers reported, however, that they are less likely to seek new employment in the next year, with 35 percent saying they were likely to search for a new job (a drop of three percentage points over the past two months).
“While some expected a decline in confidence in July, our report showed an increase in the percentage of workers expressing confidence across the board. This rise mirrors other recent confidence indicators and shows us that any concerns about recent events are not yet strong enough to impact workers’ overall outlook, especially with regards to their personal job situation,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion.
“And I believe that workers have good reason to remain confident now. We see continued demand for temporary and full-time workers across the country and skilled workers are finding themselves squarely in command of their careers. Talent shortages are becoming more apparent every day, from the auto industry in the Midwest to IT departments in New York and call centers in California and Florida. This is a great time to be a job seeker.”
Results from the July Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Workers’ Confidence Rebounds
The July Employee Confidence Index was 57.8 in July, reflecting a 1.1- point rise from June. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, increased because more workers were optimistic in the strength of the economy and their personal job prospects. The Index is 0.4 points higher than the level recorded a year ago.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Increases: The Macroeconomic Confidence Index rose to 41.6 in July, increasing 1.3 points from June, as more workers reported confidence in the strength of the economy. The Index is 0.5 points higher than in July 2005.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 25 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, up one percentage point from June.
- 23 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 19 percent in the previous month.
Personal Confidence Index Rises: Workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation increased 0.8 points to 74 in July partially because slightly more workers reported confidence in their ability to find a new job. The Index level is 0.3 points higher than one year ago.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 65 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their employer, showing no change from June.
- 57 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, increasing one percentage point from June.
Job Security Index: Workers’ Confidence at Highest Level in the Past Year
Matching its highest level recorded in the past year, 79 percent of the U.S. workforce indicates that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next year. The Index remains unchanged from a year ago.
Job Transition Index: Fewer Workers Planning to Search for
35 percent of U.S. workers said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, dropping slightly from 36 percent from June. The Index is two points lower than the level reported in July 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 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 July 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 2,836 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between July 5-7 and July 11-13, 2006 (for June 2006 n=3,119). 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 2,836 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 offices 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 .
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 13th 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 www.harrispollonline.com.