Spherion Survey Shows First Increase in Overall Employee Confidence Index in Nine Months

Spherion Survey Shows First Increase in Overall Employee Confidence Index in Nine Months

Confidence in the Economy Increases Even as Personal Job Security Declines

  • Sixty-four Percent of Workers Express Confidence in the Future of Their Current Employer

  • Slightly More Workers Believe the Economy is Getting Stronger

  • Seventy-five Percent of Workers Believe they are Unlikely to Lose Their Jobs

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 6 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- The Spherion(R) Employee Confidence Index rose 0.7 points to 46.9 in May, showing the first increase in nine months. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R) on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN), reflects workers' increasing confidence in the economy, as more workers report that the economy is getting stronger in May.

More workers, however, expressed concern about their personal job security. Seventy-five percent say it is unlikely they will lose their job in the next 12 months, a decline of three percentage points from the prior month. Two other key indicators also declined slightly. Sixty-four percent said they are confident in the future of their current employer, while just over half (51 percent) express confidence in their ability to find a new job. Both indicators dropped one percentage point from April.

"While some industries, such as manufacturing, have been performing better than expected, the simmering fears about job loss persist," said William Grubbs, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Spherion Corporation. "Even if they are employed and feel that their employer is doing well, many people know someone who has been laid off or is struggling and that insecurity creates a ripple effect, however subtle.

"What's important to keep in mind, however, is that the jobs picture is multifaceted. While some industries are in decline, others are growing rapidly. In addition, the prospects for college graduates, although not as expansive as in past years, are still relatively good. Some regions, particularly those with colleges and universities, have put a strong focus on recruiting talent prior to graduation. In turn, these areas have become major employment centers. Although there may be common threads, people in different industries or at different stages of their careers will have varied experiences. Right now, there is no 'one' economy or 'one' job market. These 'mixed messages' are evident in the survey, where workers' views about the strength of the economy are inching up even as they express doubts about their own job situation."

Results from the May Spherion Employment Report:

Confidence Level Up for the First Time in 2008: The Spherion Employee Confidence Index increased for the first time in nine months, rising 0.7 points to 46.9 in May. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, reveals that while workers' personal confidence has declined slightly, their views of the macroeconomic situation is on the rise.

Details of the Index:

Macroeconomic Confidence:

  • Twelve percent of U.S. adult workers believe there are more jobs available, unchanged from the previous month.

  • Seven percent of workers report that the economy is getting stronger, increasing two percentage points from April.

Personal Confidence:

  • Sixty-four percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their current employer, a decrease of one percentage point from April.

  • The percentage of U.S. adult workers confident in their ability to find a new job decreased one percentage point to 51 percent in May. Job Security: Three-quarters of Workers Say it is Unlikely they will Lose Their Job

  • Seventy-five percent of U.S. workers say it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, a decrease of three percentage points from April. Job Transition: Percentage of Workers Likely to Look for a New Job Unchanged

  • Thirty-five percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months, unchanged from the prior month.

About the Spherion Employment Report

As part of the Spherion(R) Emerging Workforce(R) 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.


This May 2008 Spherion Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation between May 7-9 and May 12-14, 2008 among a U.S. sample of 2,604 employed adults, aged 18 years and older (April 2008 n=2,836). Results were weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the U.S. adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to be invited to participate in the Harris Interactive online research panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Spherion

Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for more than 60 years, Spherion has sourced, screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs.

With approximately 700 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing more than 300,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America's largest employers. Spherion operates under the following brands: Spherion Staffing Services Group for administrative, clerical and light industrial workers; Technisource for technology professionals and solutions; The Mergis Group for accounting and finance and other professional positions; Todays Staffing for specialty administrative personnel; and Spherion Recruitment Process Outsourcing. To learn more, visit http://www.spherion.com.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is a global leader in custom market research. With a long and rich history in multimodal research that is powered by our science and technology, we assist clients in achieving business results. Harris Interactive serves clients globally through our North American, European and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

SOURCE Spherion Corporation



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