U.S. workers continue to be optimistic about the economy and job market

New York, N.Y., – Recording its biggest climb since the survey’s inception, the Randstad Employee Confidence Index was 52.4 in January 2012 from 47.4 in December 2011. According to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad, the Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their personal employment situation and optimism in the economic environment, confirms U.S. workers continue to be optimistic about the economy and job market. In fact, workers’ macroeconomic confidence increased 8.5 points this month to 40.1.

“Economists’ expectation of a stronger and more stable U.S. job market created a strong jump start for this first Employee Confidence Index of 2012,” says Joanie Ruge, senior vice president and chief employment analyst of Randstad Holding US. “We remain very encouraged that our latest U.S. Employee Confidence Index rose 5.0 points—the biggest increase since the survey began over seven years ago. Coupled with this strong report, January U.S. payrolls surpassed estimates, with employers adding 243,000 jobs. There is no denying that this economic recovery has been volatile, but as we head into 2012, various U.S. economic reports are pointing to what many hope and believe will be an improving job market. And, given our latest Employee Confidence Index, we would expect optimism to increase to coincide with this—which we believe may have already started to happen late last year.”

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad. It surveyed 1,489 employed U.S. adults, aged 18 and over from January 9-10, 2012.

A Look Inside the Report

Confidence in Overall Situation:
  • Employee confidence rose 5.0 points from December 2011 to January 2012, indicating that employees are increasingly confident in their personal job situation and optimistic towards the job market and economic environment. This is the biggest jump to date.

Confidence in Macroeconomic Environment:
  • Overall, more U.S. workers were more confident about the macroeconomic environment in January 2012 than in December 2011(8.5 point increase).
  • 25 percent of U.S. workers believe the economy is getting stronger, a seven percent increase from December 2011 findings.
  • 52 percent of workers believe fewer jobs are available, representing an eight percentage point decrease from the previous month.

Confidence in Personal Employment Situation:
  • Worker confidence in the ability to find a new job in the next 12 months slightly decreased for the second month, with 37 percent optimistic in January versus 38 percent in December (40 percent in November).
  • The number of U.S. workers indicating that they are confident in the future of their employer increased by two percentage points to 61 percent in January 2012.

Job Security:
  • Similar to December 2011, 72 percent of U.S. workers believe they are unlikely to lose their jobs in the next 12 months.

Job Transition:
  • 33 percent of workers are likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months. This is up one percentage point from the previous month.


This survey was conducted online in the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of Randstad from January 9-10, 2012 among 1,489 employed adults, aged 18 years and older. The survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. 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.

For more info, contact Lesly Cardec, PR Manager via email or 800.422.3819.

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