Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 4, 2008 -- The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, a monthly gauge of overall worker confidence, declined 1.9 points to 46.5 in March, reaching its lowest level since the survey began in July 2004. Despite this decline, the survey conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN), reveals that more than half (53 percent) of workers remain confident in their ability to find a new job, unchanged from February and 35 percent of workers still plan to change jobs in the next year, a drop of one percentage point.
Slightly fewer workers were confident, however, about the future of their current employers and in the availability of jobs. Specifically, 63 percent of workers say they are confident about the future of their employers, a drop of two percentage points from the previous month. Moreover, 58 percent believe there are fewer jobs available, an increase of five percentage points from February.
Although more than three-quarters (77 percent) of workers believe it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, doubts about the economy persist. Only six percent of workers believe the economy is getting stronger, unchanged from February.
"Across the nation, there has been a marked slowdown in new job creation and workers are clearly feeling the impact of this and other overall news suggesting a sluggish economy," said Roy Krause, president and chief executive officer of Spherion Corporation. "Even though workers are not confident about the state of the job market and economy, the majority still has a positive sentiment about their personal employment situation and don't believe they will be laid off. While it may seem contradictory, the fact is that workers of all types have very high levels of confidence in their own abilities and future prospects regardless of the macroeconomic situation -- a trend which has remained constant since the survey started.
"While some employers believe they now have the upper hand in the job market, the talent shortage remains a very real problem for those employers who are creating new jobs, backfilling positions or trying to retain their current workforce. The high levels of confidence, coupled with workers' dissatisfaction with their work situations, will lead to costly turnover -- even in a down economy. Workers of all types, and especially those with college educations and professional skills, remain firmly in the driver's seat."
Results from the March Spherion Employment Report:
Confidence Levels Lowest Since 2004: The Spherion Employee Confidence Index dropped for the eighth consecutive month, decreasing 1.9 points to 46.5 in March. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, reveals that more workers are apprehensive about the future of their current employers and the availability of new jobs.
Details of the Index:
- Fifty-eight percent of U.S. adult workers believe there are fewer jobs available, compared to 53 percent in the previous month.
- Six percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, unchanged from the previous month.
- Sixty-three percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their current employer, a slight decline of two percentage points from February.
- The percentage of U.S. adult workers confident in their ability to find a new job stayed the same at 53 percent.
Job Security: More Workers Believe it is Unlikely They will Lose Their Job
- Seventy-seven percent of U.S. workers believe that it is unlikely that they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, a slight drop of one percentage point from February.
Job Transition: Fewer Workers Likely to Look for a New Job
- Thirty-five percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next twelve months, down one percentage point from last 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 March 2008 Spherion Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation between March 4-6 and March 10-12, 2008 among a U.S. sample of 3,726 employed adults, aged 18 years and older (February 2008 n=2,649). 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.
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. Spherion operates under the following brands: Spherion Staffing Services Group for administrative, clerical and light industrial workers; Technisource for technology professionals and solutions; The Mergis Group for accounting and finance and other professional positions; Todays Staffing for specialty administrative personnel; and Spherion Recruitment Process Outsourcing. To learn more, visit http://www.spherion.com/.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com/.
SOURCE: Spherion Corporation
CONTACT: Kip Havel of Spherion Corporation, +1-800-422-3819,