Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., September 2, 2005 — Fueled by a more positive outlook on the job market, the Spherion® Employee Confidence Index bounced back in August, rising 1.2 points to 58.6. Workers’ confidence in the economy and their own ability to find a new job also contributed to the increase. The August survey of 2,652 employed adults in the U.S., conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), also showed an increasing number of workers plan on leaving their jobs in the next year, with 39 percent planning a job search, up from 37 percent in July.
The subscale Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in the overall economy and job market, rose 1.9 points to 43 because more workers were optimistic about the job market and economy. 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, increased for the fourth straight month, rising .4 points in August. The gain was due to a rising number of workers who felt confident that they could find a new job, but was partially offset by a small decline in those confident in their employers’ future. 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.
“We are encouraged by the continuing confidence of American workers and the solid payroll gains we have seen over the past few months. We are well on our way to meet or exceed total job creation in 2004,” said Roy Krause, Spherion president and chief executive officer. “The increase in optimism about the availability of jobs may indicate that the workforce is starting to understand that monthly fluctuations in job creation aren’t indicative of a weak job market, but simply a regular part of this economic expansion. Given current trends in our staffing and recruiting business, we believe that this pace of hiring should continue. We are seeing solid demand for both temporary and direct hire positions in a wide range of skill sets, from IT and accounting and finance to clerical and light industrial.”
Results from the August Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: U.S. Workers’ Confidence Rebounds
- The August Employee Confidence Index was 58.6, a 1.2 point increase from July. The Index, which measures U.S. adult workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and the macroeconomic environment, increased primarily because more workers believe more jobs are available. Slight increases in the percentage of workers who are confident in the economy and their ability to find a new job also fueled the rise. The Index is 2.4 points higher than the level recorded in August 2004.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Increases: Rising for the second time in three months, the Macroeconomic Confidence Index increased to 43, a 1.9 point gain from July as more workers felt confident in the job market and in the economy. The Index has risen 3.8 points since May and is 1.8 points higher than the reading one year ago.
Specific findings from Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 25% of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, an increase of three percentage points from July.
- 62% of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger or staying the same, virtually unchanged from the prior month (61%).
Personal Confidence Index Rises: For the fourth straight month, the Personal Confidence Index increased as more workers were confident in their own employment situation. The Index rose from 73.7 in July to 74.1 in August because more workers felt confident in their ability to find a new job. It is a full point above the average level seen over the last year and 2.9 points higher than in August 2004.
Specific findings from Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 63% of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, down two percentage points from July.
- While 59% of workers are confident in their ability to find a new job, virtually unchanged from July (58%), only 12% of workers are not confident in their ability to find a new job, a decrease of two percentage points from the previous month.
Job Security Index: More Than Three-Quarters of Workers Feel That Their Job is Secure
- 78% of U.S. adult workers feel it is unlikely that their jobs will be eliminated in the next 12 months, compared with 79% from July. The Index is three percentage points higher than the level recorded in August 2004 .
Job Transition Index: Nearly 40 Percent of Workers Likely to Look for New Job
- 39% of working adults in the U.S. said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, a two percentage point increase from the prior month. The Index reached its previously seen high of 39%. This is the third time the Index has hit this level.
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 August 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 2,652 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between August 3-5 and August 8-10, 2005 (for July 2005 n= 3,119). 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), the 13th largest market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, NY-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and application. Known for The Harris Poll® and for pioneering Internet-based research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and technology to advance market leadership through its U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries, HI Europe in London (www.hieurope.com), Novatris in Paris (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, visit www.harrispollonline.com.