Spherion Survey Shows Decrease in Overall Employee Confidence

Macroeconomic Optimism Remains the Same, Despite Slight Decline in Workers' Personal Confidence

  • Sixty-three Percent of Workers Express Confidence in the Future of their Current Employer

  • Seventy-six Percent of Workers Feel it is Unlikely They will Lose Their Jobs

  • Slightly Fewer Workers are Likely to Look for a Job in the Next Year



FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 3 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index dropped 0.8 points to 46.1 in June, showing a record-low level in 2008. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN), reveals no movement in macroeconomic confidence with only 12 percent of workers saying they believe there are more jobs available and seven percent reporting the economy is getting stronger.

Personal confidence dipped slightly in June with 63 percent of workers reporting confidence in the future of their current employer and 49 percent reporting confidence in their ability to find a new job. Although these numbers still reflect a majority of workers, both indicators decreased by one and two percentage points, respectively.

Interestingly, job security has increased slightly with 76 percent of workers saying they are unlikely to lose their job in the next year and 34 percent indicating that they are not likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, a decrease of one percentage point.

"Like many other national confidence indicators are showing, the confidence level among American workers has declined once again," said Roy Krause, president and CEO of Spherion Corporation. While this drop in overall confidence is to be expected in times of economic uncertainty, workers should take note that even though the economy is shedding jobs overall, certain sectors continue to create jobs. Opportunities still exist today and job seekers must remain diligent in their search."

Krause continued, "At the same time, employers must also understand that even though they are seeing a down job market, today's emergent workers are not going to simply stay in their existing jobs if they believe they can do better elsewhere or jump at any opportunity presented to them. Our studies indicate that the workforce as a whole continues to be quite confident, change-ready and demanding. This especially applies to the most skilled and talented workers who continue to have their choice of jobs. The most innovative and progressive employers remain focused on establishing themselves as an employer of choice by attracting, developing and retaining top talent. Those who choose to 'take their foot off of the gas,' even in these times, may severely hamper their ability to win the battle for talent now and in the future."

Results from the June Spherion Employment Report:

Worker Confidence Level Dips Slightly: The Spherion Employee Confidence Index dropped 0.8 points to 46.1 in June, showing a minimal drop from 46.9 in May. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, reveals that more workers believe that it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next year, despite workers feeling slightly less optimistic about the future of their current employer.

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 believe the economy is getting stronger, showing no change from May.


Personal Confidence:

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

  • The percentage of U.S. adult workers confident in their ability to find a new job decreased two percentage points to 49 percent in June.


Job Security: Just Over Three-quarters of Workers Say it is Unlikely They will Lose Their Job

  • Seventy-six percent of U.S. workers say it is unlikely they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months, an increase of one percentage point from May.



Job Transition: Percentage of Workers Likely to Look for a New Job Decreased

  • Thirty-four percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next twelve months, a decrease of one percentage point 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, with each score ranking on a scale from 0 (no confidence) to 100 (complete confidence). A reading above 50 indicates a positive confidence level.

Methodology

This June 2008 Spherion Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation between June 2-4 and June 10-12, 2008 among a U.S. sample of 2,589 employed adults, aged 18 years and older (May 2008 n=2,604). 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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