Press Release Archive
FORT LAUDERDALE Fla., June 12, 2006 — The employment confidence of workers in the industrial, manufacturing and construction industries generally showed some signs of improvement in the first quarter of 2006 as compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest Spherion® Employment Report conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN). The latest Industrial, Manufacturing and Construction Employee Confidence Index increased to 52.7 in the first quarter, up 1.1 points from the final quarter of 2005.
In perhaps the most substantial change, the percentage of workers confident in the future of their present employers rose sharply to 58 percent—up 12 percentage points from the previous quarter and narrowing the gap between this sector and the overall U.S. workforce. Among other favorable trends, workers reporting confidence in their ability to find new employment rose by five percentage points (to 52 percent, from 47 percent in prior quarter).
In addition, 50 percent believed fewer jobs were available, compared to 41 percent in fourth quarter. While more workers expressed confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy (up three points), four in 10 (43 percent) industrial, manufacturing and construction workers continued to sense a weakening economy—compared to 39 percent of workers across all industries.
“Although confidence indicators continue to trail overall U.S. levels, the rise of worker optimism in this sector is consistent with total U.S. workers,” said Ralph Henderson, senior vice president of Staffing Services for Spherion. “And the number of workers indicating they are likely to change jobs in the next 12 months was down almost 10 percent—with the majority of industrial, manufacturing and construction workers (52 percent) reporting no intention of seeking new employment. Traditionally, employers in this sector may have felt immune to the predicted labor shortages, but they need to be aware that their supply of workers appears to be shrinking as well.”
Employee Confidence Index: The Employee Confidence Index of workers in the industrial, manufacturing and construction industries rose slightly more than one point in the first quarter of 2006 from the fourth quarter 2005. The rise may have resulted from an increase in the percentage of workers confident in the overall economy as well as in their personal employment circumstances. The sector continues to lag the overall U.S. Index, which rose 1.5 points during the same period.
About the Spherion Employment Report
As part of the Spherion® Emerging Workforce® Series of employment surveys, this quarterly Spherion Employment Report provides a snapshot of the latest workforce trends among administrative and clerical workers across the country. 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 a new job. The Employee Confidence Index is based on those 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 2006 Spherion® Employment Report is based on data from a Harris Interactive® online survey conducted on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 9,123 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, of whom 347 work in light industrial, manufacturing and construction positions, was interviewed in a series of polls conducted between January 3-5, January 10-12, February 7-9, February 14-16, March 8-10 and March 14-16, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents’ propensity to be online.
In theory, with probability samples of this size, it can be said with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus one percentage point. Sampling error for the results of employed adults who work in light industrial, manufacturing and construction positions (n=347) is plus or minus five 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 more than 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.