Randstad US: Employee Confidence Levels Remain High in Third Quarter Despite Slowdown in Nation's Job Growth

ATLANTA, Oct. 13, 2015 -- The Q3 Randstad U.S. Employee Confidence Index (ECI), finds workers' confidence levels were little changed from the previous quarter, dropping only one-tenth from 61.9 in the second quarter to 61.8 and remaining near record highs throughout 2015. The U.S. ECI, calculated from the results of an online survey among over 2,000 employed adults and conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad, measures employed workers' perceptions regarding the overall strength of the economy, availability of jobs and personal employment prospects. Despite slowing job growth for the nation over the last several months, one-third of workers (33 percent) believe more jobs are available and more than half (54 percent) indicate they are confident in their abilities to find new jobs. 

Several key economic indicators have shifted over the third quarter of 2015 compared to the second quarter, notably a slowdown in hiring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 142,000 new jobs in September. Meanwhile, the pace of job creation in July and August was also slower than originally reported and were revised downward by a combined 59,000 jobs. With the revised numbers, the three-month average of private-sector job growth was down to its lowest level in nearly six years.

Although the U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 percent in September, the sharp decline in the number of Americans employed was counterbalanced by an even sharper drop in the number of people looking for jobs. The labor force participation rate fell to a new low in September, declining from 62.6 percent at the end of the second quarter to 62.4 percent last month. In addition, workers saw zero increase in their wage growth in September as average hourly earnings remained at $25.09.

"In spite of the nation's slower economic and employment growth in recent months, our Employee Confidence Index indicates a steady confidence level among U.S. workers," said Jim Link, chief HR officer, Randstad North America. "In fact, workers' personal confidence index, a measure of workers' confidence in their own employment situation, increased to 72.1 this quarter from 71.3 in the second quarter. The labor market is a mixed bag at the moment, with some industries experiencing significant headwinds and others adding new jobs at a healthy pace. For example, issues continue to plague the oil industry, resulting in big losses within the mining, logging and manufacturing industries. However, we see steady hiring activity within the health care, professional and business services, information technology and financial sectors."

Unemployment rates for many of these industries are near record lows, with financial activities dropping to 2.6 percent from one year ago, and education and health sectors declining to 3.5 percent, both well below the national average unemployment rate. Furthermore, the service sector accounts for more than 80 percent of all American workers, and the Institute for Supply Management's employment gauge, included in its non-manufacturing index, rose to 58.3 in September from 55.7 in May. The reading matches the second highest level achieved during the current economic recovery that began in mid-2009.

Randstad US has been tracking workforce trends and publishing the U.S. Employee Confidence Index since 2004. Click here to visit our Workforce360 thought leadership site for a more detailed analysis of the current economic situation.

About Randstad
Randstad US is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $22.9 billion global provider of HR services. As one of the largest staffing organizations in the United States, Randstad provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and permanent placement services each week to over 100,000 people through its network of more than 900 branches and client-dedicated locations. 

Employing over 5,300 recruiting experts, the company is a top provider of outsourcing, staffing, consulting and projects and workforce solutions within the areas of Engineering, Finance & Accounting, Healthcare, Human Resources, IT, Legal, Manufacturing & Logistics, Office & Administration, Pharma and Sales & Marketing. Learn more at www.randstadusa.com and access Randstad's panoramic U.S. thought leadership knowledge center through its Workforce360 site that offers valuable insight into the latest economic indicators and HR trends shaping the world of work. 

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