Press Release Archive
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 7, 2007 -- The number of U.S. workers expressing confidence in the economy and in their personal employment situation continued its decline in November, according to a recent survey from Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN) of 3,014 working adults. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, decreased by 3.5 points to 52.9 in November, its lowest level seen this year. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion, reveals that fewer workers believe there are more jobs available and that the economy is getting stronger. Despite this, more than three-quarters of workers believe it is unlikely that they will lose their job in the next 12 months.
According to the survey, the percentage of workers who expressed confidence in their own job security increased two percentage points from 77 percent in October to 79 percent in November, while the percentage of workers who felt confident in the future of their current employer decreased four percentage points from October to 61 percent. Nearly one-third of workers, or 32 percent, reported that it was likely that they would seek new jobs in the next 12 months, a decrease of two percentage points from last month.
"It appears that the volatile stock market, credit situation, housing slowdown and continued anxiety over fuel prices may be fueling apprehension among workers," said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion Corporation. "Though this month's Index decreased, data aggregated from specific survey questions indicate a clear majority of workers remain optimistic and confident about their own job security and the future of their current employer. Furthermore, the data shows that slightly fewer workers intend to seek new jobs in the next 12 months, which is could be good news for employers focused on retaining top performers. When considered along with a comparatively low 4.7 percent unemployment rate and continued job growth in industries such as professional services, healthcare and hospitality, we believe that the overall job market remains strong."
Results from the November Spherion Employment Report:
Confidence Levels Hit Lowest Level of the Year: The Spherion Employee Confidence Index dropped to its lowest level this year, decreasing 3.5 points to 52.9 in November. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, reveals that more workers were apprehensive about the economy, job market and the future of their current employers.
Details of the Index:
- 12 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, compared to 17 percent in the previous month.
- The percentage of U.S. adult workers who believe that more jobs are available decreased by four percentage points to 20 percent in November.
- 61 percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their current employer, a decrease of four percentage points from 65 percent in October.
- The percentage of U.S. adult workers confident in their own ability to find a new job fell two percentage points from last month to 56 percent in November.
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 12 months, an increase of two percentage points from October.
Job Transition: Fewer Workers Likely to Look for a New Job
- 32 percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, compared to 34 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.
This November 2007 Spherion Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation between November 6-8 and November 12-14, 2007 among a U.S. sample of 3,014 employed adults, aged 18 years and older. Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of 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 sourced, 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 700 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 more than 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,