Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 2, 2006 — Despite the lower than expected job growth in May, U.S. workers’ confidence rebounded after dropping to a five-month low in April. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index jumped 1.3 points to 58.7, a level that is 2.9 points higher than a year ago. The recent survey of 2,894 employed adults in the U.S. conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows that 60 percent of workers are confident in their ability to find a new job (an increase of three percentage points from April 2006) and 66 percent are confident in their employers’ future, up from 65 percent in April.
In addition, more workers are confident in the security of their jobs, with 78 percent saying they feel that their jobs will not be eliminated in the next 12 months. Worker’s outlook on the job market was slightly improved in May as 27 percent say that more jobs are available, an increase of one percentage point. Workers’ confidence in the economy was unchanged, however, with 57 percent saying the economy was either strengthening or remaining stable.
“Even though job creation in the last two months certainly hasn’t been as strong as the first quarter, this rebound in worker confidence indicates that workers are feeling that they are gaining the upper hand in the job market,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. “The overwhelming majority of workers feel their jobs are secure and many say they are confident to go find a new job and plan to do so in the next year. This sentiment shouldn’t be surprising to employers. With low unemployment rates and broad-based job creation, workers have more choices when deciding upon their next career move as competition for top talent is becoming even fiercer.”
Results from the May Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Confidence Increases in May. The overall May Employee Confidence Index was 58.7, rising 1.3 points from April. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, may have increased as a result of more workers reporting optimism in the job market, the future of their employer and their ability to find a new job. The Index level is 2.9 points higher than the level recorded in May 2005.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Rises. The Macroeconomic Confidence Index increased to 42.1, a 0.6-point rise from April as more workers were confident about the availability of jobs. The Index level is 2.9 points higher than in May 2005.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 27 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, up one percentage point from April.
- 23 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, showing no change from the previous month.
Personal Confidence Index Rebounds. The Personal Confidence Index was 75.3 in May, a two-point rise from April as more workers were confident in future of their employer and their ability to find a job. The Index level is 2.9 points higher than in May 2005.
Specific findings from Personal Confidence Index include:
- 66 percent of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, compared to 65 percent in April.
- 60 percent of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, up three percentage points from the prior month.
Job Security Index: More Workers Confident in Job Security. Rising for the first time in two months, the Job Security Index rebounded in May with 78 percent of participants saying it is unlikely their job will be eliminated in the next 12 months. The Index is up one point from May 2005.
Job Transition Index: Percentage of Workers Planning to Search for New Job Unchanged. Holding steady for the second month in a row, 38 percent of U.S. workers said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. The Index is down one point from May 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 May 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 2,894 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between May 3-5 and May 9-11, 2006 (for April 2006 n=3,169). 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 2,894 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 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 Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll® and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value.
Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe) and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in Paris, France (www.novatris.com), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V.
To become a member of the Harris Poll OnlineSM and be invited to participate in future online surveys, go to www.harrispollonline.com.