Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 5, 2006 — The Employee Confidence Index declined 0.8 points in April, the third drop in the past four months. The April Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, which measures workers’ personal and macroeconomic confidence, declined to 57.4—its lowest point since November 2005. Despite the drop, the Index is still 1.8 points above the level at this time last year. The survey of 3,169 employed adults in the U.S. conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows that 43 percent of workers believe the economy is getting weaker and 41 percent feel that fewer jobs are available, both increasing two percentage points from March.
In addition to the decline in macroeconomic confidence, fewer workers are confident in their ability to find a new job and in the future of their employer. Sixty-five percent of workers are confident in the future of their employer, and 57 percent of workers are confident in their ability to find a new job, both virtually unchanged from the previous month.
“While overall worker confidence was down slightly in April, the economy continues to expand and job creation is on par with 2005 and 2004,” said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion. “In fact, the economy grew at a rate of nearly five percent in the first quarter, the biggest increase since 2003. Still, we’re seeing a disconnect between the actual health of the economy and how the American worker perceives it. Rising gas prices and a slowdown in the housing market are perhaps tempering long-term optimism about the strength of the economy.”
In addition, 38 percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next year, up a full five percentage points from March.
“It’s important to note that our survey shows that more workers are now looking to explore new job opportunities in what has clearly become a job seeker’s market. In our recruiting and staffing business, we continue to see that qualified talent, especially at the professional level, is becoming harder and harder to find every day. How employers react to this shift from an employers’ market to a job seeker’s market will be crucial to their future success in recruiting talent,” Krause continued.
Results from the April Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Confidence Declines in April
The overall April Employee Confidence Index was 57.4, reflecting an 0.8-point drop from March. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, decreased due to their weakening optimism in the economy and personal employment situation. The Index level is 1.8 points higher than the level recorded in April 2005.
- Macroeconomic Confidence Index Drops: Workers’ confidence in the macroeconomic environment decreased to 41.5, an 0.6-point decline from March as slightly more workers had concerns about the availability of jobs and the strength of the economy. The Index is 2.4 points higher than a year ago.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 41 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that fewer jobs are available, as compared to 39 percent from March; at the same time, the percentage of workers reporting that there are more jobs available (26 percent) is unchanged from the previous month.
o 23 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, showing no change from the previous month. However, 43 percent of workers believe the economy is weakening, a two-percentage-point increase from March.
- Personal Confidence Index Falls: Workers’ personal confidence in their own employment situation decreased 1.1 points to 73.3 in April because slightly fewer workers are confident in the future of their employer and their ability to find a new job. The Index level is 1.1 points higher than last year.
Specific findings from Personal Confidence Index include:
- 65 percent of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, compared to 66 percent in March.
- 57 percent of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, compared to 58 percent in the prior month.
Job Security Index: Fewer Workers Confident in Job Security
- Dropping for the first time in four months, the Job Security Index fell two percentage points in April. Despite the drop, 76 percent of workers believe they won’t be laid off in the next year.
Job Transition Index: More Workers Planning to Search for New Job
- Rebounding six percentage points from the previous month, 38 percent of U.S. workers said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. The Index is one percentage point higher than the level reported in April 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 April 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 3,169 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between April 4-6 and April 10-12, 2006 (for March 2006 n=2,972). 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 3,169 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.