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Manufacturing Employee Confidence Rises Again in the Fourth Quarter

  • job availability
  • economy
  • employee confidence

The Randstad Manufacturing Employee Confidence Index reached its highest point since the first quarter of 2007, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad Manufacturing. 

The Index, a measure of overall confidence among 152 U.S. manufacturing workers, climbed 3.7 points to 54.6 in the fourth quarter of 2012, with improved readings around confidence in the economy and job outlook among manufacturing workers. 

“Companies are starting to invest again and in turn, job creation is following,”  said Phyllis Finley, executive vice president at Randstad US. “Some of the sectors that have been hiring heavily include automotive, supply chain and advanced manufacturing. Technical and skilled employees within the manufacturing sector are also in high demand.”

Continued Growth In the Manufacturing Sector, According to the ISM
According to the closely watched Purchasing Managers Index released by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the January Index registered at 53.1 percent, an increase of 2.9 percentage points when compared to December's seasonally adjusted reading of 50.2 percent. This indicates growth for the 44th consecutive month in the overall economy, and indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector for the second consecutive month, the ISM reports.

Employee Confidence In the Economy Rises, While Job Confidence Contracts 
According to the survey, 28 percent of manufacturing workers believe the economy is getting stronger, rising six percentage points from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of workers who are confident in their ability to find employment contracted slightly in the fourth quarter, falling from 48 percent to 45 percent in the fourth quarter. 

In addition, 37 percent of manufacturing workers say they are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, dropping two percentage points from the previous quarter. 

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