Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., December 2, 2005 — Worker confidence rose for the first time since August and the U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in November, signaling that the job market may have rebounded from the losses created by the recent hurricanes. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index, which measures workers’ personal and macroeconomic confidence levels, increased 2.8 points to 56.9 in November, the average confidence level over the past year. According to the recent survey of 2,763 employed adults in the U.S., more workers are confident in the economy and job market as well as their personal employment situation. In addition, the monthly survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), showed that 79 percent of workers felt their jobs are secure, a two percentage-point increase from October.
The subscale Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in the overall economy and job market, rose for the second straight month, gaining 5.9 points since September. Majority of workers believe the job market (59 percent) and economy (57 percent) are improving or staying the same. The Index is only slightly lower than the average level since November 2004.
The Personal Confidence Index, a subscale index measuring workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation, increased 1.3 points in November after falling in October. More workers were confident in their own ability to find a new job and in the future of their current employer. For detailed information on the calculation of the Employee Confidence Index and its subscale measurements, please see the “About the Spherion Employment Report” section below.
“While it is not yet back to pre-Katrina confidence levels, employee confidence began to rise last month as an increasing number of workers are optimistic about the economy and their personal job situation,” said Roy Krause, Spherion president and chief executive officer. “I believe the Index’s rise in November shows that workers feel the economy has weathered the storms and that the job market is getting back on track. While some of the recent job growth has been attributed to post-hurricane recovery efforts, this doesn’t mean that the reconstruction efforts are solely responsible for the continued growth. Throughout the country, our clients continue to add to their core, full-time staff and utilize an increasing amount of contingent labor to handle support tasks as their businesses grow. If current economic trends continue, we expect a strong job market in 2006 that will give more career opportunities to the 38 percent of workers that want to change jobs.”
Results from the November Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: U.S. Workers’ Confidence Rises
- The November Employee Confidence Index rose to 56.9, a 2.8 point increase from October. The Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, increased primarily because fewer workers felt the economy and job market were weakening. In addition, more workers were confident in their ability to find a new job. The Index is 0.5 points lower than in November 2004 and is currently at the average level over the past year.
- Macroeconomic Confidence Index Rises: Workers’ confidence in the macroeconomic environment rose for the second straight month, as fewer workers were concerned about the strength of the economy and job availability. The Index rose 4.3 points to 40.3 in November after rising 1.6 in October. The Index level is 1.4 points lower than in November 2004 and only 0.2 points below the average level over the past year.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 59 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs or the same number of jobs are available, compared to 55 percent in October.
- 43 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is weakening, a decrease of eight percentage points from October.
- Personal Confidence Index Increases: Rebounding from its first decline in six months, the Personal Confidence Index rose 1.3 points in November. More workers were confident in their ability to find a job. The Index is 0.4 points higher than in November 2004 and is .02 points above the average of 73.3 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 63 percent in October.
- 58 percent of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, a rise of three percentage points from October.
Job Security Index: Slightly More Workers Feel Their Jobs Are Secure
- 79 percent of U.S. adult workers feel it is unlikely that their jobs will be eliminated in the next 12 months, an increase of two percentage points from October.
Job Transition Index: Nearly 40% of Workers Plan to Find New Job
- 38 percent of working adults in the U.S. said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, compared to 39 percent from the prior 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.
The November 2005 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 2,763 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between November 1-3 and November 8-10, 2005 (for October 2005 n=2,685). 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.