Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., February 3, 2006 — Employee confidence was little changed in January, as more workers believe both the economy and job market are improving, but fewer are confident in their personal employment situation. The January Spherion® Employee Confidence Index fell 0.3 points to 58.9, its first monthly drop since October 2005. The recent survey of 3,194 employed adults in the U.S. conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), shows that 64 percent of workers believe the economy is improving or remaining stable and 61 believe that either more or the same amount of jobs are currently available.
The subscale Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in the overall economy and job market, increased for the fourth consecutive month, gaining 9.5 points since hitting a low of 34.4 in September 2005. The Index is three points higher than the average level over the past year. The Personal Confidence Index, a subscale index measuring workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation, dropped for the first time since October, falling 1.4 points to 73.8 in January. Small percentages of workers had less confidence in the future of their employer and in their ability to find a new job, but the Index remains above its average level over the past year.
The survey showed that 36 percent of all workers plan to change jobs in the next year, including nearly half (49%) of workers between the ages of 18-34. Looking back to 2005, the data shows that, on average, 37 percent of all workers reported that they were likely to look for a job in 2005. In fact, additional survey data shows that 20 percent of all workers voluntarily made a job change in the past year, including 30 percent of 18-34 year old workers.
“The new year has started with continued job growth and increased optimism that the economy is on the right track. We believe that job growth this year will be steady and broad-based, much like the growth we saw 2004 and 2005,” said Roy Krause, Spherion president and chief executive officer. “However, as the job market expands, turnover will continue to be a key issue for employers. Our data show that in total 20 percent of workers made a voluntary job change in the last year—that’s nearly half the number of total workers who said they were likely to do so. This issue won’t go away anytime soon, as the effects of talent shortages are fully realized and skilled workers will be in even more demand.”
Results from the January Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Confidence Little Changed in January
The Employee Confidence Index was relatively unchanged at 58.9 in January, a 0.3-point drop from December. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, decreased due to more workers doubting their personal employment situation. The Index is 0.6 points lower than in January 2005 and is currently 1.8 points above the average level over the past year.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Rises: Workers’ confidence in the macroeconomic environment rose for the fourth consecutive month and is at its highest level in the past year, as fewer workers believe that the economy is weakening. The Index level is 0.4 points higher than in January 2005 and three points above the average level over the past year.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 25 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, compared to 26 percent in December.
- 36 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is weakening, down two percentage points from the previous month.
Personal Confidence Index Falls: Workers’ personal confidence decreased 1.4 points to 73.8 in January, although a majority of workers remained confident in the future of their employer (64 percent) and in their ability to find a job (58 percent). The Index is 1.6 points lower than in January 2005 but is 0.2 points above the average level over the past year.
Specific findings from Personal Confidence Index include:
- 64 percent of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, compared to 67 percent in December.
- 58 percent of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, falling two percentage points from the prior month.
Job Security Index: Majority of Workers Feel Jobs Are Secure
78 percent of U.S. adult workers feel it is unlikely that their jobs will be eliminated in the next 12 months, showing no change from December. The Index is one percentage point lower than in January 2005 and at the average level over the past year.
Job Transition Index: Slightly Lower Percentage of Workers Planning Job Search
36 percent of working adults in the U.S. said they are likely to look for a new job in the next year, compared to 37 percent last month. The Index is two percentage points lower than January 2005 and one percentage point below the average level over the past year.
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 January 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 3,194 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between January 3-5 and January 10-12, 2006 (for December 2005 n=2,848). 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. In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. population of employed adults had been polled with complete accuracy. This online sample is not a probability sample.
Spherion Corporation is a leader in the staffing industry in North America, providing value-added staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions. Spherion has helped companies improve their bottom line by efficiently planning, acquiring and optimizing talent since 1946. 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.