According to Spherion Survey, U.S. Workers are Confident in Future of Current Employers, Despite Doubts on Economy

  • Sixty-Six Percent of Workers Are Confident in the Future of their Current Employer
  • Forty-Nine Percent of Workers Express Confidence in Their Ability to Find a New Job
  • Fewer Workers Believe that the Economy is Getting Stronger



August 04, 2008 // Franchising.com // FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.,-- The Spherion® Employee Confidence Index dropped 0.9 point to 45.2 in July, decreasing to a new low since tracking began in June 2004. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Spherion Corporation (NYSE: SFN) measures U.S. workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment. Contrary to the June report, which showed that both personal confidence indicators were on the decline, the July data demonstrates a positive upswing, as worker confidence in the future of their employers increased three percentage points and 49 percent remain confident in their ability to find a new job.

At the same time, optimism in the economy waned in July, as the percentage of workers confident in the strength of the economy and the job market both declined by two percentage points. However, 76 percent of workers believe it is unlikely they will lose their current job, showing no change from June and 33 percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

"Given the current state of the economy, we are encouraged by the high number of workers feeling secure in their jobs and the rise in the percentage of workers who are confident in the future of their employers," said Roy Krause, president and CEO of Spherion Corporation. This level of confidence is not unlike what we have seen in previous downturns and is indicative of how workers feel about their own abilities and their personal situations despite the instability of the economic environment around them."

Krause continued, "As I speak to our clients across the country, I continue to hear questions about worker confidence and their actual likelihood to leave their jobs in this environment. The simple answer is that workers are listening to offers and even small adjustments in pay, benefits and commute times may entice them enough to make a move. Regardless of the economic situation, employers must still plan for turnover and should consider how their employer brand may be impacted by any organizational changes or changes in strategy. The moves they make now will have a major impact on their ability to attract, retain and develop top talent when the economy turns around.

Results from the July Spherion Employment Report:

Overall Confidence Level Hits Record Low: The Spherion Employee Confidence Index dipped 0.9 points to 45.2 in July, decreasing to the lowest level seen in the history of the survey. The Index, which measures workers' confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the macroeconomic environment, declined as workers' concerns about the economy and the job market increased. However, more workers expressed confidence in the future of their current employer in July and 76 percent of workers believe they are unlikely to lose their job in the next year.

Details of the Index:

Macroeconomic Confidence:

  • Ten percent of U.S. adult workers believe there are more jobs available, a decrease of two percentage points from June.
  • Five percent of workers believe the economy is getting stronger, decreasing two percentage points from the previous month.

Personal Confidence:

  • Sixty-six percent of U.S. adult workers feel confident in the future of their current employer, a three percentage point increase from June.
  • The percentage of U.S. adult workers confident in their ability to find a new job remains unchanged from the previous month at 49 percent.

Job Security: Seventy-six percent of Workers Believe 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, showing no change from June.

Job Transition: One-third of Workers Likely to Look for a New Job

  • One-third (33 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 July 2008 Spherion Employment Tracker was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation between July 7-9 and July 15-17, 2008 among a U.S. sample of 3,161 employed adults, aged 18 years and older (June 2008 n=2,589). 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 Office Professionals 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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