Confidence Among Manufacturing and Logistics Workers Reached Highest Level Recorded in Q4 2014

ATLANTA, February 23, 2015 – The Randstad Manufacturing & Logistics Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. workers in this sector, reached its highest level ever recorded in the history of the survey during the fourth quarter of 2014. The index peaked at 59.0, a significant increase from 53.2 in the third quarter. The online survey was conducted by Harris Poll among 145 manufacturing and logistics workers on behalf of Randstad during October, November and December of 2014. 

The report indicated nearly 4 in 10 (37%) workers believed the economy was getting stronger, an increase from 31 percent in the third quarter of 2014. Twenty-eight percent believed there were more jobs available, compared to 24 percent in third quarter. However, nearly half (48%) of manufacturing and logistics workers said they felt there were fewer jobs available.

Interestingly, although the majority of participants said they felt there were fewer jobs available, manufacturing and logistic workers’ confidence in their ability to find a new job soared to 54 percent in fourth quarter. This represented a 22 percentage point increase from third quarter, in which only 32 percent expressed confidence in their ability to find a new job. Fifty-seven percent said they were confident in the future of their current employer, which represented no change from the third quarter. However, only 12 percent said they were not confident in the future of their current employer, compared to 22 percent in the previous quarter.  

Sense of personal job security also remained high, as only 11 percent of manufacturing and logistics workers stated it was likely they would lose their job over the following 12 months. Furthermore, more than a third (36%) of workers said they would likely seek out new employment opportunities over the following 12 months, which represented no change from the third quarter of 2014. 

“With both the overall economy and the U.S. manufacturing sector experiencing healthy growth, we expect to see confidence levels among workers remain high in 2015,” said Traci Fiatte, Group President of Randstad Staffing. “Following a significant dip in 2009 to the lowest level since 2004, gross output for the manufacturing sector has rebounded. The industry experienced a 7.7 percent annual growth rate between 2009 and 2011, and in 2014 it reached its highest level ever recorded at more than $5.4 trillion.

“In 2015, the U.S. manufacturing industry will place greater importance on optimizing productivity and maximizing competitive advantage by incorporating more cutting-edge technologies. The integration of these advancements, driven by speed-to-market pressures and the desire to reduce costs, will increase the need for more technologically-advanced skillsets among manufacturing and logistics workers,” continued Fiatte. “The challenge for many manufacturing companies will be to find and retain this skilled talent, as more employers begin to recognize that failure to do so will result in a negative impact on the bottom-line. Increased overtime costs, increased cycle times, increased downtime and other soft cost impacts are just a few ways in which companies will suffer without securing qualified talent for these key positions.”

The talent shortage and skills gap are already having an impact on many U.S. manufacturers. In fact, a recent report by MIT’s commission on Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE), found that one-quarter of manufacturing companies are already having trouble finding qualified talent and it is taking three months or more for those companies to locate eligible candidates. And, managers at 40 percent of such firms say they see the problem as a major obstacle to increasing financial success.

Q4 2014 Survey Highlights: 

Manufacturing and Logistics Workers’ Confidence in the Economy Rebounded
  • Nearly 4 in 10 (37%) of workers believed the economy was getting stronger, an increase of six percentage points from the third quarter’s 31 percent.  
More Workers Believed There were More Jobs Available
  • The percentage of workers who felt there were more jobs available improved to 28 percent during fourth quarter, compared to 24 percent in the third quarter. 
Confidence in Ability to Find a Job Increased Substantially 
  • Rising dramatically quarter-over-quarter, 54 percent of workers said they were confident in their ability to find a job, compared to only 32 percent in the third quarter. 
No Change in Manufacturing & Logistics Workers’ Likelihood to Job Hunt
  • More than one-third (36%) of workers said they were likely to look for a new job over the following 12 months, which represented no change from what was reported in third quarter.
Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad from October 8–10, November 3–5 and December 8–10, 2014 among 3,144 ages 18 and older, of which 145 are employed in manufacturing and logistics. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About Randstad Manufacturing & Logistics 
With more than 50 years of experience in the Manufacturing & Logistics industry, we can access the right talent at the right time. We designed our products, services and solutions with the specifications required to best ensure that our clients receive qualified, dependable talent who they can trust to perform the job responsibly. With our deep industry understanding, experience and commitment to ongoing education, we have designed an unparalleled service model to deliver reliability, responsibility and results. Our service and expertise in attracting and assessing the right talent for the right job combine to create partnerships that result in ongoing success.

About Randstad US
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services. As the third largest staffing organization in the U.S., Randstad holds top positions in permanent placement, office and administrative, IT and accounting and finance. From professional services, commercial staffing, recruitment process outsourcing, to managed services and more, Randstad delivers a comprehensive range of temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent placement and outsourced placement services. With its 5,324 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of approximately 100,000 people to work in the U.S. each week, through its network of nearly 1,000 branches and client-dedicated locations.

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