Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 5 , 2007 -- Even though the U.S. job market rebounded in September, the number of U.S. workers confident in the economy and in their personal employment situation dropped over the month, according to a recent survey from Spherion Corporation of 2,897 working adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, decreased by 1.8 points to 56.7 points in September, its lowest level this year and second consecutive decline. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN), reveals that more than three-quarters (79 percent) of workers remain confident that they will not lose their job in the next year, but also reveals that fewer feel confident in the future of their current employer and in their ability to find a new job.
According to the Index, the percentage of workers confident in the future of their current employer dropped three percentage points to 64 percent in September. Fifty-eight percent of U.S. adult workers are confident in their own ability to find a new job, down four percentage points from August. In addition, 33 percent are likely to seek new jobs in the next 12 months, compared to 37 percent in August.
"Our confidence index indicates that concerns bred by recent reports of economic uncertainty and slower job growth certainly grew stronger in September. Interestingly, we saw workers' personal confidence decline most significantly over the month, which shows that these macroeconomic concerns are starting to affect how some workers feel about their own prospects," said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. "Despite the drop, our data still shows that a majority of workers remain quite confident in their own job security, the future of their current employer and in their ability to find a new job."
Krause continues, "All in all, the drop in confidence is not surprising given recent speculation about the economy's direction. However, we are seeing positive signs that show that there is no reason for employers or employees to hit the proverbial 'panic button.' I believe that the current job market is quite healthy for job seekers, even though job growth has slowed somewhat in comparison to previous years. The continued addition of jobs, coupled with current talent shortages, is still putting skilled and experienced workers in high demand for new and open positions."
Results from the September Spherion Employment Report:
Fewer Workers Feeling Confident: The Spherion Employee Confidence Index was 56.7 in September, falling 1.8 points from August and this time last year. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, declined as fewer workers were optimistic about the future of their current employers and in their ability to find a new job. The Index is 1.8 points lower than a year ago.
Details of the Index:
- 18 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 19 percent in the previous month.
- The percentage of U.S. adult workers who believe that more jobs are available remained unchanged from last month at 26 percent.
- 64 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their current employer, a decrease of three percentage points compared to August.
- 58 percent of U.S. adult workers are confident in their own ability to find a new job, down four percentage points from the previous month.
Job Security: More Workers Believe it is Unlikely they will Lose Their Job
- 79 percent of U.S. workers believe that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next twelve months, a decrease of one percentage point from August.
Job Transition: More Workers Likely to Look for a New Job
- 33 percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, compared to 37 percent in the previous month.
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 September 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 2,897 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between September 4-6 and September 10-12, 2007 (August 2007 n= 3,126). 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 2,897 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 Time(SM), at http://www.spherion.com/careerblog.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 13th largest and one of the fastest-growing market research firms 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 North American, European and Asian offices, 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/.
SOURCE: Spherion Corporation
CONTACT: Kip Havel of Spherion Corporation, +1-800-422-3819,