Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., August 5, 2005 — After jumping two points in June, the Spherion® Employee Confidence Index retreated a modest 0.4 points to 57.4 in July as more workers had a pessimistic outlook on the economy, despite better than expected job creation last month. The decline in macroeconomic confidence was partially offset by rising levels of personal confidence, which increased for the third straight month. The July survey of 3,119 employed adults in the U.S., conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN), also showed that more workers became confident in the security of their jobs despite the increase of recent layoff announcements, with 79 percent believing that their jobs won’t be eliminated in the next year, up from 75 percent in June.
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, rose from 73.1 to 73.7 in July, increasing for the third straight month. More workers felt confident in the future of their employer, while the number who felt confident in their ability to find a new job was unchanged. The subscale Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in the overall economy and job market, fell 1.5 points to 41.1 in July as fewer workers were optimistic about the strength of the economy. Workers’ outlook on the availability of jobs was little changed. 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.
“More American workers continue to express confidence in the security of their jobs and in their personal work situation, but many have reservations about the strength of the economy, even though recent economic data looks solid and the country is on pace to create more than two million jobs this year,” said Roy Krause, Spherion president and chief executive officer. “Frankly, the most surprising finding from July’s Report is that the number of workers who feel secure in their jobs returned to the high levels we saw earlier this year, indicating that the recent rash of layoff announcements has not affected workers’ personal confidence.”
Results from the July Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: U.S. Workers’ Confidence Drops
The July Employee Confidence Index was 57.4, decreasing slightly from 57.8 in June. The Index decreased in July due to a decline in optimism about the health of the economy. This decline was partially offset by workers’ rising confidence in the future of their employer. The Index currently sits at its average level for the past year, but is 1.8 points lower than in July 2004.
Macroeconomic Confidence Index Declines: After a surprising 3.4-point increase in confidence in the macroeconomic environment in June, the Index dropped 1.5 points to 41.1 in July as fewer workers were confident in the strength of the economy. Since reaching a high of 46 a year ago, the Macroeconomic Confidence Index has averaged 41.8 for the past 12 months, hitting its lowest level of 39.1 in April 2005.
Specific findings from Macroeconomic Confidence Index include:
- 22 percent of U.S. adult workers believe that more jobs are available, compared to 23 percent in June.
- 61 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger or staying the same, down three percentage points from the prior month.
Personal Confidence Index Increases: For the third straight month, more workers feel confident in their own employment situation, propelling the Personal Confidence Index from 73.1 in June to 73.7 in July as confidence in the future of their employer increased. The Index is 1.3 points higher than in July 2004 and above the average of 73.4 over the past year.
Specific findings from Personal Confidence Index include:
- 65 percent of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, up two percentage points from June.
- 58 percent of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, unchanged from the previous month.
Job Security Index: More Workers Feel That Their Job is 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 four percentage points from June.
Job Transition Index: Nearly 40 Percent of Workers Likely to Look for New Job
37 percent of working adults in the U.S. said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, reflecting no change 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 and is scaled from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.
The July 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 3,119 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between July 6-8 and June 13-15, 2005 (for June 2005 n=2,664). 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. Though this online sample is not a probability sample, in theory, with probability samples of this size, Harris Interactive estimates with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. population of employed adults had been polled with complete accuracy.
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.