Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 4, 2007-- After a large decline in March, economic confidence levels among U.S. workers rebounded slightly in April, according to a recent survey of 3,190 working adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, increased 0.7 points to 57.8 in April. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN), shows that workers remained confident about the future of their current employers and personal job prospects, but also revealed over one-third (35 percent) intend to seek new jobs within the next year.
Driving the rise in overall optimism, the percentage of workers who believe the economy is strengthening increased two percentage points from 17 percent in March to 19 percent in April. In addition, more workers are confident about the future of their current employer, which rose three percentage points from last month to 66 percent.
"The national unemployment rate continues to hover around 4.5 percent and last month the unemployment rate for professionals was the lowest since 2001, at 1.7 percent," said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. "The job market has remained relatively strong throughout the first part of the year, despite other economic concerns such as the recent housing slump and rising energy costs. Though the overall outlook has improved in recent weeks, workers are still feeling the economic affects of the housing decline and higher prices for food and fuel. The one area that the vast majority of workers continue to feel secure is in their current jobs and I believe that continued job growth and historically low unemployment rates are fortifying that security. This may help explain the increased discrepancy between last month's macroeconomic and personal confidence indices."
Results from the April Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Overall Worker Confidence Inches Up
Slightly rebounding from declining in March, the Employee Confidence Index increased 0.7 points to 57.8 in April. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, increased slightly as more workers were optimistic about the economy, job availability and the future of their employer. The Index is 0.4 points higher than the level reported in April 2006.
- Macroeconomic Confidence Index Increases Slightly: The Macroeconomic Confidence Index increased 0.2 points to 41.2 in April, as more workers reported optimism in job availability and the strength of the economy. The Index level is 0.3 points lower than a year ago.
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 the previous month
- 19 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting
stronger, rising two percentage points from March
- Personal Confidence Index Rises: The Personal Confidence Index rose 1.3 points to 74.5 in April, as more workers were confident in the futureof their current employer. The Index is 1.2 points higher than the level recorded in April 2006.
Specific findings from the Personal Confidence Index include:
- 66 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of
their current employer, compared to 63 percent in the previous month
- 57 percent of U.S. adult workers have confidence in their own
ability to find a new job, a one-percentage-point decrease from
Job Security Index: Worker Confidence in Their Job Security Decreases Slightly
- 78 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 lower than the previous month and is two
percentage points higher than one year ago.
Job Transition Index: 35 Percent of Workers Plan to Look for New Jobs
- The Job Transition Index increased by two percentage points to 35
percent in April. The Index is three percentage points lower than the
level registered in April 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 April 2007 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 3,190 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between April 4-6 and April 9-11, 2007 (March 2007 n= 3,044). 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 3,190 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 (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 more than 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 nearly 300,000 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 TimeSM, 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/.
CONTACT: Kip Havel of Spherion, +1-800-422-3819, firstname.lastname@example.org