As talk of sequestration and government spending cuts contribute to an uncertain economic outlook, U.S. workers’ confidence in their personal ability to find a new job and in the future of their current employers remains intact, according to a new survey conducted online by Harris Interactive in the month of March.
The Randstad Employee Confidence Index, which measures workforce trends across the country, edged up for the second consecutive time, reaching 53.9 in March, despite confidence in the job market declining slightly.
Workers Waiting For Fall Out From Sequestration, Federal Spending Cuts
“This month we saw an interesting, though not too surprising, contrast in workers’ feelings around the broader economy and their own individual confidence levels,” said Jim Link, managing director of human resources for Randstad US. “Workers seem to be increasingly cautious about what’s happening in the economy as they wait to see the potential impacts from the sequestration and the $85 billion government spending cuts that took effect on March 1. In addition to the seemingly never-ending budget debates on Capitol Hill, Americans are likely feeling wary due to continued gas price and payroll tax concerns.
Personal Confidence Among Workers On the Rise – And Expected to Grow
“In the midst of economic unease,” Link said, “US workers are clearly feeling good about job security, the health of their employers, as well as their ability to find alternative employment if necessary—which could have very costly implications for organizations if this percentage of the workforce took action. With more sustained stock market and housing price gains, as well as continued job creation, we expect personal confidence to continue to strengthen over the next several months.”
In fact, Randstad’s Personal Confidence Index, which measures optimism in workers’ ability to find employment and in the health of their employers, rose by nearly four points—making it the largest gain in two years.
Here are more survey findings:
U.S. Workers Uncertain About Job Availability
Workers Confident in the Future of their Companies
- Just over half of US workers surveyed, 52 percent, believe there are fewer jobs available (an increase from 47 percent in February)
- Even so, over four-in-ten workers (42 percent) feel confident in their ability to get a new job if they searched
- Workers’ confidence in the future of their employers spiked from 56 percent in February to 63 percent this month
- A majority of US workers, 55 percent, do not plan on looking for a job in the next 12 months