Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., November 4, 2005 — According to recent government data, the U.S. economy and job market continue to expand, but the latest Spherion® Employment Report shows that U.S. adult workers have lingering concerns about the strength of the economy and job market following the recent hurricanes. The Spherion Employee Confidence Index, which measures workers’ personal and macroeconomic confidence levels, declined 0.1 points to 54.1 in October, hitting its lowest level in the past year. Despite this continued doubt, more workers were preparing to find a new job. According to a recent survey of 2,685 employed adults in the U.S., 39 percent said they are likely to look for a new job in the next year. This is an increase of five percentage points from the prior month. The monthly Spherion Employment Report is conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN).
The subscale Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in the overall economy and job market, rose in October, after a large decline in September. More workers believe the job market is improving and that the economy is strengthening, but the Index is still significantly lower than the level recorded in August. The Personal Confidence Index, a subscale index measuring workers’ confidence in the future of their current employer and their ability to find a new job, fell for the first time in six months, as fewer workers were confident in their own employment situation. 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.
“Even though the economy is showing signs of resiliency, it seems as though workers’ confidence has certainly been shaken following the hurricanes that have impacted the country over the past few months,” said Roy Krause, Spherion president and chief executive officer. “The expected ‘post-hurricane’ decline in economic confidence in September rebounded somewhat in October, but appeared to have a minimal effect on workers’ personal confidence. While this was the first decline in six months, it’s important to note that workers’ confidence in their employers and their ability to find a job remains quite high and in fact, our Report shows that the vast majority of workers feel their jobs are secure and an increasing number are planning to find a new job. This may indicate that workers don’t believe there will be a long-term impact from the storms and are not putting their career plans on hold.”
Results from the October Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: U.S. Workers’ Confidence Decreases Slightly
- Dropping to its lowest level in the past year, the Employee Confidence Index was 54.1 in October, decreasing from 54.2 in September. The Index, which measures U.S. adult workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, decreased in October because fewer workers were confident in their ability to find a new job and in the future of their current employer.
- Macroeconomic Confidence Index Rises: After dropping 8.6 points in September, the Macroeconomic Confidence Index rose 1.6 points to 36 in October as more workers have a positive view of the job market. The Index level is 4.5 points lower than in October 2004, and is 4.6 points below the average level over the past year.
Specific findings from the Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 22% of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, compared to 20% in September.
- 51% of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting weaker, a decrease of one percentage point from the previous month.
- Personal Confidence Index Drops: For the first time in six months, the Personal Confidence Index dropped, declining 1.9 points to 72.2 in October. Fewer workers were confident in the future of their employer and in their ability to find a new job. The Index is 0.6 points lower than in a year ago, and is below the average of 73.3 over the past year.
Specific findings from Personal Confidence Index include:
- 63% of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, down three percentage points from September.
- 55% of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, down three percentage points from September.
Job Security Index: Fewer Workers Feel Secure in Their Jobs
- 77% of U.S. adult workers feel it is unlikely that their jobs will be eliminated in the next 12 months, a decrease of two percentage points from the prior month.
Job Transition Index: More Workers Planning a Job Search
- 39% of U.S. working adults in the U.S said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, a five percentage point increase from September.
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 October 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 2,685 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between October 4-6 and October 12-14, 2005 (for September 2005 n=2,662). 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
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