Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 6, 2005 — Today’s U.S. Labor Department report, showing the addition of 274,000 jobs in April and upward revision of February and March’s payrolls, reflects an expanding job market, but a recent survey by Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN) indicates that worker confidence dropped for the second straight month. The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index decreased to 56 in April, a two-point drop from March, as fewer workers had an optimistic outlook on the economy and their personal employment situation. The April Employment Report survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion, also showed that the decrease in overall confidence isn’t stopping workers from searching for a new job. Thirty-seven percent of workers surveyed plan to look for a new job in the next year, a two-percentage point increase from March.
Dropping to its lowest level since August 2004, the Employee Confidence Index decreased for the second straight month as a result of a decline in workers’ overall confidence in the economy and in their personal employment situation. The subscale Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in the overall economy and job market, dropped from 42 to 39 primarily because of fewer workers having an optimistic outlook on the current health of the economy. Despite a two point decline to 72, 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, remained at a high level in April. 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 we have seen a decline over the past two months, employee confidence remains positive, buoyed by a personally confident and change-ready workforce. However, growing concerns about the economy, resulting from higher energy prices and mixed economic data, continue to weigh down the overall Index,” said Roy Krause, Spherion president and chief executive officer. “Despite higher optimism at the beginning of the year, this change highlights the sensitivity of the workforce’s perception of the macroeconomic environment. But make no mistake about it, hiring and economic expansion is continuing. We expect gradual improvement in the job market throughout the year and have seen increasing demand for temporary clerical workers and direct hire placements, a sign that many companies are expanding their payrolls and making key workforce investments.”
Results from the April Spherion Employment Report:
Employee Confidence Index: Workers’ Confidence Drops for Second Straight Month
The Employee Confidence Index dropped from 58 in March to 56 in April as a result of a decline in overall worker confidence in the economy and their personal employment situation.
- Macroeconomic Confidence Index: Workers’ confidence in the macroeconomic environment decreased from 42 in March to 39 in April as a result of more workers being concerned about the strength of the economy and availability of jobs.
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 March.
- 21 percent of U.S. adult workers believe the economy is getting stronger, down six percentage points from the prior month.
- Personal Confidence Index: Workers’ personal confidence fell to 72 in April, a decrease of two points from March.
Specific findings from Personal Confidence Index include:
- 64 percent of adult workers in the U.S. feel confident in the future of their employer, down one percentage point from March.
- 56 percent of adult workers in the U.S. have confidence in their own ability to find a new job, compared to 58 percent in the previous month.
Job Security Index: Slightly Fewer Workers Feel Their Job is
77 percent of U.S. adult workers feel it is unlikely that their jobs will be eliminated in the next 12 months, down from 79 percent in March.
Job Transition Index: Number of Workers Likely to Look for New Job Increases
37 percent of working adults in the U.S. said they are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, up from 35 percent in March.
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 April 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 2,643 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a series of two polls conducted between April 12-14 and April 19-21, 2005 (for March 2005 n=3,201). 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 could say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 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 was 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 15th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester, N.Y.-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 U.S. offices and wholly owned subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (www.hieurope.com), Paris-based Novatris (www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan, through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide, a Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies.