ATLANTA, February 27, 2013
—The Randstad Manufacturing Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among manufacturing workers, climbed 3.7 points to 54.6 in the fourth quarter of 2012—its highest point since the first quarter of 2007. The online survey of 152 U.S. manufacturing workers was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad in October, November and December of 2012.

“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.”

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.


In addition, the ISM’s Employment Index registered at 54 percent in January, which is 2.1 percentage points higher than the seasonally adjusted 51.9 percent reported in December, and indicates growth in employment for the 40th consecutive month. The growing job market for manufacturing workers is reflected in the overall positive outlook among workers.

Manufacturing Worker Confidence in Economy Is Showing Signs of Improvement

  • Twenty-eight percent of manufacturing workers believe the economy is getting stronger, rising six percentage points from the previous quarter. Meanwhile, only a third (33 percent) of workers say the economy is getting weaker, falling four percentage points from the previous quarter’s readings.


Job Outlook is Improving Among Manufacturing Workers
  • Compared to third quarter’s readings, the number of workers who believe fewer jobs are available decreased from 55 percent to 48 percent. Meanwhile, a growing number of manufacturing employees think job availability is improving, rising to 22 percent from 13 percent reported in the third quarter.


Job Confidence Among Workers Dipped Slightly in the Fourth Quarter

  • Although 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, the number of workers not confident in their ability to find jobs fell sharply from 31 percent to 19 percent.


Optimism in Future of Employers Declines in Fourth Quarter

  • The percentage of workers confident in the future of their employers fell to 59 percent, dropping five percentage points from the previous quarter’s readings.


Over a Third of Workers Still Likely to Job Search in Fourth Quarter

  • Thirty-seven 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.


To view the latest quarterly trends report, click here.   


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad from October 8-10, November 12-14 and December 11-13, 2012 among 4,738 adults ages 18 and older, of which 152 are employed in manufacturing. 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

Randstad is a $22.0 billion global provider of HR services and the second largest staffing organization in the world. From temporary staffing to permanent placement to inhouse, professionals, search & selection, and HR Solutions, Randstad holds top positions around the world and has approximately 29,300 corporate employees and around 4,500 branches and inhouse locations in 39 countries around the world. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands, Randstad Holding nv is listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam.

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